The majority of the people need primary healthcare which can be provided by a vastly expanded network of local and accessible clinics (in rural villages and urban neighbourhoods), with smaller hospitals in the towns and larger ones in the cities.
A strategy to promote renewable energy, including hybrid solar and wind energy parks, appears urgent.
Sanitation and pollution: Federal, provincial and local authorities must assume the responsibility to address the rising challenge of sanitation and pollution.
The issues which affect the quality of life of the ‘common’ Pakistani are, in rough order of priority: security and safety; justice; food and water; healthcare; housing; education; electricity; sanitation and pollution; and urban and rural transportation.
Security and safety: Since the launch of Zarb-i-Azb by the Pakistan Army, the security situation on the country’s frontiers and urban centres has improved exponentially.
Cross-border terrorism can be best resolved through the elimination of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and the Balochistan Liberation Army, and a sustainable peace settlement in Afghanistan.
And preventing violence by religious extremists and criminals will require effective implementation of an updated version of the National Action Plan.
This includes the disposal and treatment of the 10,000 tons of solid waste produced in Karachi every day; the treatment of industrial sewage that is poisoning Karachi’s ports and sea coast; and the vehicular emissions and combustion of agricultural waste which shroud Lahore and northern Punjab in smog each winter.
The government’s financial burden could be reduced by taxing polluters, setting up waste-to-power plants and securing international funding.
Clean drinking water is emerging as a major challenge.
There is a dire need of dams for water storage and treatment plants to provide clean drinking water for cities, towns and villages.