Mera des.mera des - the haunting refrain of this popular national song rang in my ears, as I slowly pulled up in front of the Islamabad Traffic Police officer standing on the Jinnah Avenue. I observed that the mans uniform was wet from a recent downpour and his face was lined with fatigue. I rolled down my window and informed him that the red traffic light at the overpass on 7th Avenue was not working and this may cause an accident because of some moron whizzing across, oblivious of the danger he posed to other motorists. The cop managed to bring the semblance of a tired smile, as he shook his head and made a futile gesture with his hands. It turned out that he and his colleagues had already reported the faulty light to the concerned office three days ago. Since then, he had stood at the spot from eleven in the morning till eight at night, directing traffic and preventing errant drivers from breaking the law. I looked at the man and my heart went out to him and others like him. As I resumed my way home, I began to feel angry - angry at the callousness and delay of all those concerned with carrying out a simple task of repairing a traffic signal. I only realised that I was venting my ire aloud, when my granddaughter put her hand on my shoulder saying: Abbu, relax - Pakistan men aisa hi hota hai. Residential areas in every big city in the 'land of the pure have now become home to schools and commercial establishments. I am more than sure that this gross violation of law has been observed a hundred times by those who are encumbered to enforce it, but they have chosen to do nothing about it. The same holds true for Guest Houses that now dot posh housing localities in cities. Many of these establishments are involved in promoting immoral activities and no amount of protests by neighbouring residents moves the powers that be, into action. Gone are the days when towering monsoon clouds elicited excitement and joy amongst urban dwellers. Today these clouds herald fear and frustration, as blocked storm and sewage drains spew water, turning the roads into stinking watercourses and stranding commuters for hours on end. Some times these 'rivers take human sacrifices, when power lines fall into them and trap some unfortunate wretch, who happens to step into the water. I call this murder and hold the city administration and the WAPDA accountable. The nauseating sight of garbage trolleys overflowing with stinking contents and infested with millions of blue bottle flies is a common feature in congested urban localities. I only wish that these heaps of filth had been deposited at the doorstep of the municipality offices and homes of those responsible to keep the city clean. The other day, I saw a dead rat lying in front of a posh shopping area of Islamabad that also boasts some popular restaurants. On enquiry, I was told that the rats had infested the building. Perhaps, notice of the dead rodents will only be taken when a serious health threatening situation erupts in the capital. Lahore is in the grip of what can best be termed as a Dengue Fever epidemic with over 1,000 cases admitted in various hospitals. While authorities say that anti-mosquito fumigation and spray has been undertaken, television coverage indicates that this is not the truth. There are localities in the Punjab capital that have yet to see a fumigation team and the best hapless citizens can do is to pray that the dengue carrying insects have mercy and pass them by. While Lahore continues to suffer, the powers that run other cities, sit twiddling their thumbs hoping that angels will come to their rescue. They will, perhaps, only commence fumigating their charges when the virus rears its ugly head at their doors. Encroachments have become fashionable things these days. Perhaps, breaking the law and causing inconvenience to public is considered to be a macho thing. I wish I had a camera to record the sight of a group of cops standing on a Lahore road eating fruit from a makeshift stall that had blocked the entire footpath, forcing pedestrians to step down into the potholed road and the crazy traffic. I wondered when in 'my des, enforcement of law will become every law enforcers business. I cannot but rave and rant at the mess our 'astute and 'honest government has created in my 'land of the pure, but I now make it a point to vent my anger under my breath. I do so, lest I once again have to bear the anguish of listening to someone say: Relax - yahan to aisay hi hota hai. The writer is a freelance columnist.