Articles of the year 2010

Last Chance
Published on January 2nd, 2010

The last week of December 2009 saw a shocking lapse in the Karachi administrative control, as a bomb was detonated in an Ashura procession and 40 people lost their lives, with over a 100 injured. It has still not been confirmed how many people succumbed to gunfire, which was rampant immediately after the blast. There is also extensive CCTV footage of miscreants setting fire to shops and cars. It is one of the many examples of the incompetence of the government. This time the escalation of the violence was reflective of a different agenda by the miscreants, and showed a deliberate attempt to wilful destruction looting and arson. The police and rangers stood as bystanders and did not make any effort to stop the looting or the arson. The CCTV clearly shows the deliberate criminal acts in real time, and must be made a basis for actions against the IG Police and the DG Rangers for dereliction of duty. What was the point of 15000 law enforcement officers if they took no action? It is these officers that should be hauled up to be made an example of.

Karachi provides the livelihood for millions of Pakistanis spread throughout Pakistan, by the hard work done by their men folk in this city. This was graphically demonstrated when the earthquake devastated the northern areas. The construction industry in Karachi came to a grinding halt as 90 percent of the workforce went back to rebuild their homes in the north. When the city of Karachi is affected the whole of Pakistan is directly affected. The attack on Karachi is therefore doubly dangerous as millions of migrant workers dependent on the well being of this city.

Moreover, the degeneration of governance is bringing Pakistan to the brink of economic ruin. The Karachi blast may have diverted the public attention -but only for a while. The people of Pakistan will be given a New Year present of a 13 percent increase in the electricity rates, applied across the board, with no minimum escapees. In the whole world the power rates do make allowances for the lower income groups using less than a certain number of units - that too stands withdrawn tomorrow. Happy New Year! Already the gas shortage has hit the bulk of the people, and the petrol hike is to follow. Certainly, this government will be remembered for the most miseries that were dumped on an unsuspecting people. And will give cause to unbridled hatred for this era. No leader in our history has so completely abandoned his people, while reaping the benefits. Moving in bulletproof air-conditioned cocoons he need not worry about the poor toiling masses. They were born to serve, but the hatred is palpable. The cocoon is also sound proof. Another of the perks that go with the job.

The people of Pakistan were so busy fighting enemies on the outside, that they did not realise that their true enemies were at the helm of affairs, mismanaging the economy and by making a living hell for the people. The only mitigating factor in our miserable lives was the feeling that the Indians were more miserable than us and there were many more miserables there. The government will soon level the score there, by making more Pakistanis poorer.

, the succession of incompetent rulers has managed to put us at the bottom of the pile. With the money managers we have built foreign exchange reserves on borrowed money at exorbitant rates - but there is no gas in the stove, no petrol in the tank, no sugar or bread on the table. In Pakistan even the affluent are feeling the pinch, as most countries have pulled back on issuing visas to Pakistanis. The rapid decline of the economy with no one to address these issues. The US is in no mood to hand out money, for the distrust factor has kicked in, and the US insists on micro managing their aid, for they do not wish their aid to wind up in Swiss banks.

With the Supreme Court's rejection of the NRO which is being blocked by an executive 'go-slow', there will soon be a clash between the executive and the judiciary. The only solution would be to dissolve the assemblies and start again, after there has been accountability across the board. There are many youngsters who have the energy, and morals that would keep the politicians honest. Only if the judiciary keeps an eye on the executive.

The corrupt will still get their deals through but not to this extent. This is definitely our last chance. The people in their misery will prefer the misery under the Taliban, rather than live with this sham of a corrupt democracy, a gift to the Pakistani people from the US government.