From Peshawar: A plea to the government

Published: August 12, 2013

Despite living in a posh area of the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, there are unannounced/unscheduled power cuts. PHOTO: REUTERS

Despite living in a posh area of the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, there are unannounced/unscheduled power cuts. PHOTO: REUTERS Despite living in a posh area of the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, there are unannounced/unscheduled power cuts. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD NOMAN/EXPRESS

Dear Leaders of Pakistan,

I hope you are well and are busy overseeing and planning solutions for the many problems faced by our nation. Since you will, undoubtedly, be caught up with reforms rather than amassing wealth, as you have just stepped into office, I thought I should tell you a little bit about your awaam.

As a dutiful child is expected to inform his parents about the changes happening in his life, I want to tell you about how we are living now.

We, your children, have finally installed a generator at home.

Despite living in a posh area of the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, there are many unannounced and unscheduled power cuts here. The long absences of electricity are felt immensely by all of us and we suffer brutally. We have waited for years for the governments to resolve the power crisis, but this has not happened thus far.

I am from a middle class family where huge investments – such as buying a generator – are not easy and we have to think long and hard before committing to such extravagant expenses. Coming from an educated family, we have always considered our actions holistically; whether they are on the right course and whether our decision would be considered as one made by a good citizen.

But in this case, we had to give in; the heat is getting unbearable and so is the energy crisis.

We had initially installed a UPS, which seemed like a tiny miracle in itself, bringing fans and lights to life despite the power cut. At that time, we were ready to bear the hardships for the cause of our nation. Being naïve, we believed in the promises made time and time again. Sadly after these same promises broken at the same rate by our government, our patience has worn away.

I am not blaming one person here; it is not entirely one leader’s fault. The blame rests with your class – the people who have had power for years; who have had the power to bring change and within whom the people power oscillates (there is rarely any real change in your echelons).

As a citizen of this country, I would like to say thanks to our great President Ziaul Haq who introduced the concept of loadshedding Back then, I remember there being only one hour of scheduled load shedding.

Dear leaders of today, can you give my children the same facility now? Can you give my students that peace of mind, that if they happen to take an unscheduled nap, they will still be able to submit their assignments on time, or be prepared for an exam the next day? Can you give the nation an uninterrupted eight hours of sleep?

I don’t think you realise the responsibility you have towards your people because you do not feel the same hardship as they do. Do you get eight hours of sleep – sleep that is not interrupted by power cuts and is void of worries pertaining to your livelihood?

I am sure you do.

Can you give our senior citizens the guarantee that the sacrifices they made for the independence of this state were worthwhile?

Why don’t you make a deal with your nation; you give us an improved lifestyle and we will do something in return for you. Our youngsters will be able to study harder and bring pride to Pakistan through their educational achievements; being rested with uninterrupted electricity at night, we will go to work refreshed and will boost Pakistan’s GDP; if you give us our right to electricity, we will make Pakistan brighter.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, you, as a businessman would know better than me about how to cut costs and effectively utilise resources; please make use of your skills for the betterment of the nation. We really need it. We don’t expect you to buy cheap electricity from another state; we have enough resources to work miracles for us. We would not mind if you get cheap electricity for a little while only as relief for us, we will consider it our Eidi, but we want a permanent, effective and indigenous solution that which is not imported.

I promise, we will keep our end of the deal if you keep yours. I promise we will work hard, we will do all we can for the improvement of our nation only if you support us. It has been 65 years and things are not improving, in fact, rather than going forward we have put the gear in reverse.

I hope, dear leaders, that you won’t take our plea lightly. I will be waiting for a positive response from you.


Your children, your awaam.

Dr Gul e Saman

Dr Gul E Saman

An academic who resides in Peshawar. She has recently completed her PhD in Computer Science from the University of York, UK.

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

  • Sane

    Being Awam (Riaya) how dare you plead for betterment of Riaya from the rulers (kings). Shouldn’t you be in the limits and behave like loyal Riaya. Let ort kings be in ease. They have lot of plans to plunder and be-fool the Riaya of this country. Let them think and plan.Recommend

  • Nadir

    So Pakistan was created so that everyone has uninterrupted electricity? Recommend

  • M I Khan

    Good thinking but how can you promise on the part of about 180,000,000 million people among whom there millions of those who steal electricity and who are corrupt and inefficient?Recommend

  • Anon

    Support civillian govt.s rather than the army/madrassas.Then the civillian govt.can attain stability it requires and begin to work on all the problems in the country and solve them over the next few years.Recommend

  • faizan

    Dear Innocent Citizen of Peshawar,

    Have you forgotten what your such Exalted Prime Minister said about you? He said peopleof KPK are emotional, with a simle on his face which said – emotional read stupid.

    Let me tell you, that in the private gatherings of our esteemed rulers, all of us (Riaaya) are stupid and emotional, may it be KPK, Punjab, Sindh or Balochistan. We sell our dreams and emotions a week before elections, and then curse them for next 5 years.

    Happy dreaming.Recommend

  • S

    I really hope our leaders read this letter! Or I hope thier posh children read this on ET and tell their parents about it.

    Keep up the good work!Recommend

  • Travel_Tart

    Those lanterns and candels look so charming.
    You guys are lucky to avoid modern decadent lifestyle. I would love to visit Peshawar. Recommend

  • nikhil manek, india

    Like the author, most pakistani girls are so very beautiful, they deserve a better life for sure, where they would have electricity 24 hours, 7days a week-p p pRecommend

  • nikhil manek, india

    Uninterrupted electricity is a must in todays world for charging mobile phones laptops, watching tv, machines in factories that run on electricity, trains also run on electricity!! Where we live in india we have 24 hours electricity, just cant imagine living without electricity for 10-15 minutes. lets hope in pakistan also, we have 24 hours electricityRecommend

  • Shaheer Ullah Khan

    A candid opinion, I must say. A major issue addressed very simply and with the view of a ordinary citizen without any politicaly biased mindset.Recommend

  • Zarrie

    I think its an amazing well written letter depicting or misery and anguish truly.Recommend

  • Dr.Sheraz Khan

    Perfect Letter. Needs a perfect Postman to get it to the Rulers Now.Recommend

  • Sane

    @nikhil manek, india:

    Where we live in india we have 24 hours electricity,

    India is much much poorly powered than Pakistan. Which utopia of India you live in?Recommend

  • Gul E Saman

    well you are right but we should raise our voice and at least try to make an effort to set things rightRecommend

  • Gul E Saman

    Pakistan was created so that the citizen could live in peace with peace of mind, electricity in an important ingredient to achieve thatRecommend

  • Gul E Saman

    @M I Khan:
    I know that if a hand is extended in friendship to our people, they will always accept it and act in the best interest of the friend. Uninterrupted electricity would mean or industry would perform better hence, more jobs which means more employment. If the people have money they would live an honest man’s living. If the prices are not too high everyone would pay. Everyone that you talk to wants change, everyone wants to get out of the strange situation in Pakistan that has developed over the last few years.Recommend

  • Gul E Saman

    the civilian government needs to work hard for the people and according to what the people want.Recommend

  • Gul E Saman

    I am no simpleton, none of us are. KPK has proved that time and time again. We need to change that. We need to raise our voice and work for the betterment of our nation. A small contribution can go a long way. Recommend

  • Gul E Saman

    They look charming as long as you use them for decorations or to charm. When you have to live with and when you have seen easier better living its no longer charming.Recommend

  • Prabhjyot Singh Madan

    Well, I live in Calcutta city and we had a loadshedding 6 months back due to a fault at the plant for 10 minutes.My 6 yrs old son does not understand the concept of no electricity at home. West Bengal is a electricity surplus state and we sell electricity to orissa. India is not just Bombay, Delhi and bangalore, we are charged. 7.25 rupees a unit in the park street area and 3 rupees in Calcutta new town area so differential rates are charged based on the location. Prepaid electricity just like a prepaid mobile coupon has been launched 3 yrs back in the newer parts of the city. India is growing in its own magical way. Thank you, rab rakhaRecommend

  • Aymun Atta

    well written, electricity is the major issue in our along other issue, it must be resolved for prosperity, but i afraid our politicial are not sincere with the nation. it is the basic element for all the development in the country. instead of waiting for project on large scale, the government should install many small project for the speedy control of the problemRecommend