Much frustration and resentment

Published: March 22, 2012

Millions of Pakistanis live below the poverty line and are deprived of the minimum basic necessities for a decent living. PHOTO: AFP

I will be accused of coming down hard on political parties but wouldn’t be wrong in saying that on most occasions, there is a wide gap between what our political leaders say and what they end up doing. Ordinary Pakistanis are suffering from a myriad of problems in the country, yet we find our political leaders busy building castles in the air.

Take, for instance, the slogan of the PPP whose credo for all its existence has been to provide Pakistanis with ‘roti, kapra aur makan’. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has a motto where it says that it will eliminate corruption within 90 days of taking office.

And, the main opposition party, the PML-N, says that it is working towards establishing a “democratic, developed and prosperous Pakistan in which every citizen enjoys equal opportunities and grows without any discrimination.” Even the PML-Q has a noble-sounding motto: “Democracy, development, devolution, diversity and defence.”

Let’s now compare these slogans with the current situation that most Pakistanis find themselves in. Millions live below the poverty line and are deprived of the minimum basic necessities for a decent living such as three square meals, clean drinking water and a roof over their heads.

Corruption is perceived to be at an all-time high, and most ordinary Pakistanis feel (and it can probably be verified factually from statistics) that the gap between the rich and the poor is increasing with every passing day. What is worse is that they find that the government makes no effort to stem the rot, and if anything, its leaders personally benefit from bad policies and inefficient governance.

I will recount a recent example which shows how frustrated and resentful ordinary people are of the elite political class. In a city in Punjab recently, several hundred people were on the road protesting long hours of load shedding and had consequently blocked the road. This held up traffic, which included the car of a political leader. Incensed by the delay, he came out and opened fire in the air to protest.

However, much to his dismay, instead of clearing the way for him, the crowd responded by giving him a good thrashing.

Published in The Express Tribune.

Shazia.Mehboob

Shazia Mehboob

The author works at The Express Tribune.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.