x

Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 17 November 2018

Imran Khan is learning the tough lessons of public service

Our readers have their say on the Pakistan prime minister, Sri Lanka, rental agreements and artificial intelligence

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in Beijing, China, last week. Thomas Peter / Getty
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in Beijing, China, last week. Thomas Peter / Getty

Congratulations on your incisive editorial, Imran Khan is caught between the past and the future (Nov 8). He may well be realising that it is easier to be a member or leader of the opposition than to be in the hot seat. Power is a funny phenomenon. Those who do not have it, seek it. Those who have it, wonder whether it was worth the struggle. Social media has made every voice count. Everyone has an opinion and a voice. So, a leader is incessantly subject to audit and scrutiny. Eventually, they have to act out of conscience, and if they can sleep at night, they are doing just fine.

In developing countries such as Pakistan and India, tradition and modernity are constantly tugging at each other. Science, literature and technology propel societies forward. However, the old, established ways of doing things can make the process slower. It is a leader’s job to balance these pressures and keep the economy moving forwards. Mr Khan may be realising that to solve Pakistan’s problems, he may have to start a fresh journey. What he has learned on the cricket field may not suffice. In sport, there are rules and conventions. Societal problems evolve unpredictably, and there is no rule book. Every problem is new, requiring lateral thinking.

Public service can be a thankless job. You do acquire some fame, but there is little money to be made if you are honest, and rarely is there much appreciation at the end of a long career. Look at the Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany. Once, she was the darling of Europe. Now people cannot wait to see her go. That is very sad, indeed.

Rajendra Aneja, Dubai

Will there be a resolution to Sri Lanka’s political crisis?

I write in reference to the recent political developments in Sri Lanka. The nation’s president Maithripala Sirisena has dissolved the nation’s parliament, which is a shocking development, and called for fresh elections in January. For the past few months, the nation’s politics have been in crisis. Will the situation of ordinary Sri Lankans improve? We will have to wait and see.

K Ragavan, Bengaluru

When it comes to housing, always be sure to plan ahead

I write in reference to your recent article Homefront: “Can my landlord charge a full year’s rent for breaking a contract early?”: I found myself in a similar situation, without an early cancellation clause, and worked with the landlord to find a new tenant. Worked like a charm and everybody was happy at the end. Lesson learned: never assume you’ll stay in a place for long, and put everything in writing, including your exit strategy.

Miguel Llorente, Dubai

Artificial intelligence is no substitute for news anchors

I write in reference to your recent article China debuts the world’s first AI news presenter (Nov 10): definitely a big no from me. Human newscasters must be retained.

Benazir Khan, Dubai