Confessions of a Chat Show Host With every passing day in the present climate, the repetitive fear clawing at me is that absolutely no one knows anything for sure. Conjecture, suspicion, outdated conclusions repackaged to apply to present situations, wink-wink, nudge-nudge, we all know what this isall about, right. Right? Wrong. From Memogate, to MFN status, to drone attacks, we really don't know as much as we ought to. Partly because you haven't asked the media the right questions and partly because we - the media - have been catering to your established prejudices and leanings. It's a toughbusiness, you know. If we don't have a talk show, with me, the hosttrying to keep two guests from physically rearranging each others'faces or a news anchor trying to catwalk, jazzercise and enunciateexcitingly all at the same time, the ratings are proof enough to showthat no one pays attention. Yes, yes, I remember that your drawingwalls are witness to your loathing for all such things and your infinitely better taste in television - but the ratings say you're lying. Then again, if a spoilt child asks for a pony that can tap dance, will you do what's right or will you be out in the lawn getting kicked in the face while covered in manure. I think it's time we were honestwith you guys. You really aren't being spoken to as plainly as youdeserve. The MFN status, for example, is nomenclature that makes itsound like we have clasped our less-than-loveable neighbour to ourbosom; whereas, in actuality, it is the economic equivalent of relaxing your facial expressions from looking like you have a particularly revolting smell under your nose - to absolutely poker-faced. Why do we use it? Because it's the World Trade Organisation terminology, not because we're simpering at anyone. By the way, the Chinese, who are certainly not as close to the Indians as they are to us, have at times a high trading volume with India than they have with us. It is to be remembered that China, too, shares serious disputes with India that are yet to be resolved. But, that doesn't matter. It looks better and iseasier to sell you outrage than any of this logic or unbiased information. We're also very good at peddling self-pity. Agreed that the economy is tanking and things are bad - but. I know you don't pay your taxes. You, yes you. And it's absolutely appalling. God forbid a politician would come and say this though. No, they have their votes to protect. They'd rather tell you and me that we have been wronged against and that it wasn't any of our fault, we just got caught in the crosshairs, among other such lovely placatory sound bites. What they ought to be doing is telling us in plain words to get our acts together and start behaving responsibly. Unfortunately, not one of them is clean enough to be able to do so with any real legitimacy. With a large majority of our politicians from feudal, land-owning backgrounds, agriculture tax imposition anyone? No? Ok, then. So lets just keep feeling sorry for ourselves and not doing what we know we need to. So what should we be doing? Well, let's start with pointing out our flaws and mistakes with brutal honesty. Instead of being outraged by what we find and looking around for someone to cast the blame on, weneed to admit that this mess is of our own creation and now that weknow what the problems are, we can start fixing them. Desperate timesexcite a lot of emotion, but the opposite is better. While the adrenaline and survival instinct kicking in will help get things moving, our most urgent need is to take decisions in purely selfish self-interest, with a hard head for profit and benefit to our country - and nothing else. Let's start with the numbers, hand them over to accountants, scientists, economists and step out of the way. If the PIA needs an overhaul, which promises to hurt like hell, let it happen. If you need to privatise Pakistan Railways to ensure the trains run on time, do it. There's nothing worse than waiting for something to happen. And who are we really waiting for to come rescue us? The problem lies within. Let's get to work. You and I, let's pay our taxes, let's ask more questions, let's admit we don't know when we don't know. Let's just decide to do better. It's not that complicated