Shakir Lakhani

Shakir Lakhani

Engineer, former visiting lecturer at NED Engineering College, industrialist, associated with petroleum/chemical industries for many years. Loves writing, and (in the opinion of most of those who know him), mentally unbalanced. He tweets @shakirlakhani (twitter.com/shakirlakhani)

Corruption is now accepted as a fact of life in Pakistan

Perhaps the greatest danger to Pakistan is corruption. We can stand up to any hostile army trying to invade our sacred land, but corruption is eating away at our foundation, like termites which ultimately cause houses to collapse. Owing to corruption, the government is not able to collect enough revenue, making it necessary to borrow from the IMF, which ultimately makes the country poorer and adversely affects our ability to defend the nation from terrorists and hostile enemies. Corruption has enabled Pakistanis to invest Rs85 billion during the past six months and Rs512 billion in the past two and a half years ...

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A petition to the Chief Justice of Pakistan

Dear Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP), I am an ordinary Pakistani, one of those unfortunate residents of Sindh; the province which does not seem to have a functioning government. Although our taxes per capita are much more than those of other provinces, the budget amount is not being spent on our welfare; on the contrary it seems that the entire amount is siphoned away to foreign bank accounts. 1. Our roads look like they have been bombed recently. 2. Our streets are full of garbage, which is affecting our health because it remains on the streets for months and then ...

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Dear Bilawal (Zardari), please read a newspaper so you know what Sindh is going through

Dear Mr Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, It has been reported that you are behind the move to remove some ministers in the Sindh cabinet and appoint new ones. Of course, this is nothing new, all over the world ministers are sacked and replaced if they do not perform satisfactorily. Usually what happens is that new and competent people are chosen to run the government. With all due respect, I, for one, feel that nothing will change by sacking some ministers and replacing them with others. The people of Sindh will continue to suffer due to the absolute lack of governance in the ...

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No, Mr Dar, an amnesty is not the solution!

Dear Mr Ishaq Dar, It is reported that you have directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to call all stakeholders in the property sector to find a solution to a problem which is supposed to have been created by your government. What problem? Is it a problem to finally do something which should have been done long ago? It is in the supreme national interest to levy taxes on the actual value of properties, rather than on the (mis)declared low values. To give just one example, in DHA Karachi, taxes were levied at the rate of Rs1,650 per square yard, while the actual price of ...

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Only in Karachi can a ‘police officer’ shoot an unarmed innocent civilian like Abrar

Whenever I go abroad, I see that in most cities, policemen are always courteous and helpful, and people are not afraid to go to the police if they are robbed or have a complaint. But not in Karachi. Here, you know that if you ask the police for help, you could end up being robbed by them. I know many people who have been mugged and their houses burgled, but they dare not go to the police for help. In other cities, police officers will never shoot at unarmed men, in fact in some countries the police themselves are not armed. Yet they are ...

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Why is Karachi virtually paralysed every time it is ‘blessed’ with rains?

Go to any major city on the planet and you’ll find that heavy rains do not affect normal life in any way. Drive from Genting Mountain to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia in pouring rain (so heavy that you can’t see more than 10 feet ahead of you). No problem, business as usual. Roads don’t get damaged, the water doesn’t collect on the roads and in a few minutes the streets are miraculously empty of water. No power breakdowns either. No need to buy and maintain expensive generators to produce electricity whenever it drizzles because there are no power outages. The ...

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June 10, 2016
TOPICS

You forced me to break the law, Qaim Ali Shah!

I’m not the kind of person who speeds through a red light, even if the drivers of vehicles behind me honk loudly enough to wake up the dead. I have a healthy respect for the law. So, when my son was deprived of his smart phone and 10 thousand rupees last month, I advised him to immediately report the crime to the police and the CPLC. He smiled indulgently, saying that once you go to the cops they will never let you rest in peace and you’ll have to pay them a handsome amount to stop hounding you. I don’t blame him. The cops in Karachi ...

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Government officials will fast in their air-conditioned offices and the public will face eight hour power shortages

I remember the times when power outages were rare. This was before the widespread use of air conditioners. Today, in every government department, air conditioners are switched on long before the baboos arrive in the morning. This is to ensure that when they enter their cabins, the temperature is not more than 20 degrees centigrade. These government officials, ministers included, want to remain cool so they are comfortable even when the temperature outside is 45 to 50 degrees. One doesn’t mind our bureaucrats and ministers enjoying themselves in their ultra-cool offices. But what they forget is that the electricity they use ...

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The perfect world for CII members would be one without women

I do not know under whose leadership the body of persons known as the Council of Islamic Ideology was formed. A few days back it recommended the banning of paper money and reversion to coins, as was the practice in the 7th century. I wonder why they didn’t ask the government to ban cars and trucks, and ask for donkey and camel carts to be used for transportation instead. Or that all high rise buildings should be demolished and replaced with huts and hovels! But their recent proposals to “protect” our women prove that these worthies are obsessed with women. ...

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If you cannot protect the Sindh Assembly, Mr Qaim Ali Shah, how will you protect us?

Mr Qaim Ali Shah, we have always known that your government (or non-government) is terribly incompetent. This was recently proven when the host of a private TV channel managed to bring an armed person into the assembly without being searched. Of course you and your speaker made the right noises about the sting operation being illegal and your government arrested the TV channel’s host (Iqrar ul Hassan) and his associate. The fact is, you live in a state of denial and have brainwashed yourself into believing that Sindh is a model province that is being governed very efficiently. We, however, ...

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