Shiffa Z Yousafzai |
Pakistan was not always like this – without proper healthcare, without an effective public transport system, without free or inexpensive education for all, sky rocketed poverty , failing economy, mothers giving birth to babies on the roads, water scarcity, without affordable housing for the less privileged, lack of infrastructure in most of the rural and many of the urban centers of the country and much more missing…
When Pakistan was given a status of an independent sovereign state in 1947, it had way more facilities than we have now. For example lets talk about Bannu district, it is the city which now for the last two decades or more have faced several challenges like many other cities of KP such as religious fanaticism, militancy, sectarianism, terrorism etc. Can you imagine an airport in Bannu? I think no. But yes, there was an airport in Bannu and people from the rest of the country used to take those domestic flights in 1980s.
My grandfather used to tell me that he had a bicycle and his bicycle’s headlight wasnt working and while riding he spotted a ‘Hawaldar’ standing at the end of the road so he got off his bike and started walking along with the bike just because he feared that hawaldar would fine him for riding a bicycle without a bulb. Listening to such stories today in the lawless times sound really funny.
Jamal Leghari PML-N candidate for Dera Ghazi Khan had to face aggrieved voters when he went to offer his condolences for a man’s death who died five years ago, Ex-PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was also questioned by the people in Kahuta that what did he do for them in the last five years?
Harnai district in Balochistan is another example that was greener and much more developed in the past than many cities are today. It had public schools, government hospitals, roads, Woolen mills etc… Good old days! There was a proper price control, the staff and food inspectors used to visit stores to check the quality of the products available for consumers.
Pakistan’s first capital Karachi had its very own mass transit system in the 18th century, of course that was developed by the British which included a tram but then atleast we had it which later was ensnared by corruption. Where did it all vanish? During President Ayub’s regime we had Karachi Circular Railway, KCR, a facility for cheap travel within the city just like any other developed western metropolitan city. But instead of moving forwards we headed backwards.
For how long are we going to call ourselves a ‘developing country’ and hide our incompetencies behind this term? We have been developing since 1947 and instead of developing we have started to regress. Today our country’s top problems are poverty, illiteracy, energy crisis, corruption and nepotism, overpopulation, inflation, economic crisis.
More than 40% of our population is living below the poverty line without any basic necessities so obviously all they would think of is their ‘survivial’. According to the definition of literacy; literate is the one who can read and write; and according to this definition officially reported figures suggest that 50% of the Pakistanis are illiterate and 22.6 million children are still out of school.
Mothers giving birth to babies on the roads, water scarcity, without affordable housing for the less privileged, lack of infrastructure in most of the rural and many of the urban centers of the country and much more missing…
When a prime minister is ousted or tried for corrupt practices or for the misuse of his authority, his courtiers shamelessly defend him on the national television calling him an ideological leader. Was this the ideology of M. A Jinnah when he opted for a separate home ground for the muslims? Had he known his nation would be ensnared by all that he feared for them in India, I doubt he would have ever gone forward with this idea of a separate state.
Long before the date for general elections 2018 was announced all the parties had started to claim to be victorious in the upcoming elections but only one political party that is Imran Khan’s PTI came forward with its 11-point agenda to begin with and then later came up with its 100 days plan (if they are able to form the government).
Manifestos of political parties are all the more important given Pakistan’s critically ill economy. Whenever general elections in a country are approaching political parties present their manifestos not just for the voters to cast their votes based on those manifestos but they also provide a clear-cut vision for the next five years of the country. Manifestos then become a benchmark for the ruling party to measure its performance and to understand what promises made last time were kept and what is it that is yet to be achieved, where did the government fail etc.
While we wait for the manifestos to be put forward by the two big political parties Pakistan Muslim League-N and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) voter has unprecedentedly started to ask questions from the political candidates of their constituencies. Jamal Leghari PML-N candidate for Dera Ghazi Khan had to face aggrieved voters when he went to offer his condolences for a man’s death who died five years ago, Ex-PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was also questioned by the people in Kahuta that what did he do for them in the last five years? This is certainly something praise worthy for voters have always been suppressed and crushed by these feudals and chieftains and never mustered the courage to question those who are nothing without these voters.
At the end I would advice you all to ‘Know your worth and dont be fooled by the pretty political speeches’.
Shiffa Yousafzai is a TV presenter & producer with Hum TV. She is an International Alumni Ambassador for Manchester Metropolitan University, UK, where she studied Multimedia Journalism. Earlier, she graduated with business and marketing at Air University, Islamabad. She had been vice-president Air University Cultural Society; She is a singer and has performed in cultural events. Shiffa could be followed on twitter @Shiffa_ZY and on facebook @Shiffa Z. Yousafzai. The views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space Editorial Policy.