off record
Shaukat Ali Jawaid

Every Human
Life matters

Today on July 14th2020, we have lost 5304 people due to COVID19 and it also includes a large number of healthcare professionals including doctors, nurses and paramedics. However, it is extremely painful when one hears the authorities announcing that the deaths is not much as compared to many other countries. How many death will wake them up and they will start taking things seriously. During the last two months we have lost quite a few eminent members of the medical profession managing COVID19 patients and every such death is very demoralizing for the whole healthcare team.

We have had enough time to plan but we failed to make necessary arrangements. Neither had we arranged the PPEs and Ventilators in time nor the testing kits, proper quarantine, isolation facilities. We did not pay attention to increase the Intensive Care Beds or High Dependency Unit beds. If this was not enough, even no arrangements were made in time as regards training of the healthcare professionals to manage critically ill COVID19 patients with the result that we are paying a heavy price for all this. Finding an ICU bed has become extremely difficult. As regards ensuring availability of the needed drugs, if a Federal Minister Sheikh Rashid says that he could not find the needed injection for five lac rupees and it had to be arranged through NDMA, it says a lot. What about the ordinary people, are the rulers aware of the problems they are facing at present.

It is the incompetence of the government nothing else. Remember every human life mattes and for the family who loses their dear ones, it is the end of the word and start of untold miseries. They also need psychosocial support. Even today one hears the healthcare professionals in Azad Kashmir protesting at the non-availability of PPEs and other protective equipment. We desperately need to improve governance on all fronts. All saner elements in the society are calling for unity in the Nation at this critical times but efforts are being made to sow seeds of hatred. We should not be happy at seeing millions of people demonstrating on the streets in United States and Europe with the slogan “Black Lives Matter”. Let us look inward. Writing in Daily DAWN a former bureaucrat Tariq Khosa has said that “Baloch lives Matter”. In the same way, the Pushtoon Lives matter too and in fact every human life in Pakistan matters irrespective of the fact to which region they belong. Mr. Tariq Khosa has also referred to “A kill and dump strategy pursued by state agencies against Baloch activists. Use of force, he cautions will not win hearts and mind. Our two premier civilian and military-led agencies, he further states, have operated without a legal framework for too long”.1

Whenever there is some crisis, a Commission is formed for enquiry and then everything is put under the carpet. No one has ever been punished. People are treated as slaves and the Nation is continuously fed on lies, they are never told the truth. What happened to the Hamoodur Rehman Commission Report and Abbottabad tragedy? No one has ever been punished with the result that we keep on making the same mistakes again and again. Political leadership needs to be treated politically and eliminated politically because any other means adopted always proves counterproductive. Hanging of Mr. Z. A.Bhutto which later became known as “Judicial Murder” will never be forgotten. People did not accept that verdict and they will never accept the verdict against Mian Nawaz Sharif of unseating him on the basis of Iqama. Former Judge of Supreme Court Mr. Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry in his interview has confirmed it and he has made many other revelations as well. 2 Only a few months after independence, Mr. Hussain Shaheed Suharwardy an important leader from East Pakistan had warned that the new State might destroy itself and he has also given the detailed reasons for that. His words proved correct leading to the break-up of Pakistan.3 Did we learn any lesson from that? Every one of us including the politicians, bureaucrats, military, and judiciary have contributed to the destruction of this country. Democracy was never allowed to flourish. Crocodile tears shed later by Justice Munir, regrets by Justice Nasim Hassan Shah now cannot change the history. It is still time, we should make a sincere effort to save and strengthen the country. Strong Military and Nuclear capability alone is not a guarantee for security but it must be coupled with a strong economy with good growth rate. To ensure that we need political stability for the economy to develop and flourish which demands free and fair elections and respect for the people’s mandate.

Even before COVID19 pandemic our economy was destroyed and this virus has made the situation still worse. Without growing economy from where one can find funding for development and improvements of social services including Health and Education. We also need to defuse the population explosion bomb. Failure to contain the COVID19 Pandemic as feared has almost choked our health services and we have not yet seen the peak, no flattening of the curve is still in sight. Atta, Sugar, Petrol crisis and the return of load shedding for hours all are the result of government’s incompetence. The increasing prices of essential food items, unemployment are going to affect a very large section of the society and push millions of people further below the poverty line. Do we have any plan to tackle all these issues? Politicians should see the writing on the wall. The situation has become so bad that no single political party will be able to now run and manage this country efficiently. For this collective efforts are needed. Let the Parliament, Military, Judiciary decide once for all that political problems will be resolved politically and all institutions should work within their domain. The day such a decision is made and it is implemented in letter and spirit our problems will be resolved and we can once again be on the road to progress though it now looks an uphill task in the present circumstances. But let us not lose hope and pray that better sense will prevail and we will see some positive changes in the days to come.


  1. Tariq Kohsa. Baloch Lives Matter. Daily DAWN Saturday June 20, 2020 Page-6.
  2. Malik Asad. Panama Papers case verdict will remain controversial, says former SC Judge. Daily DAWN July 3, 2020. Back Page.
  3. Tariq Khosa. Jinnah’s Pakistan needed. Daily DAWN. July 4, 2020.Page-6.
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