Sunday 9 October 2011

The Extra-vagant republic of Pakistan

'If Muslims got ten rupees, they would buy a pretty scarf and eat a biriani whereas Hindus would save the money.'
Mohammed Ali Jinnah (Reference: - Jinnah, Pakistan and Islamic identity: the search for Saladin, Akbar S Ahmed, Page 8)
Global Economy has been in recession since 2008. Countries considered to b Economic giants have been forced to undertake austerity measure and budget cuts. People in Greece started venting their anger on their inept rulers by means of protests and sit-ins. It was followed by massive student protests and later rioting in the UK. Recently, jobless people have taken to the streets in New York, Boston,Los Angeles, San Diego to protest against the monetary policies of USA. In our beloved country, Pakistan-admist all this-nothing has changed. The same old faces keep playing musical chairs. Our president is the 2nd richest person in the country, the leader of largest opposition party (NS) is the 5th richest person in the country. Our country owes more than 60 billion dollars in external debt and the figures are increasing. Keeping aside the extravagance of our ruling class, we need to inspect what the rest of country is doing. According to a research, an average Pakistani consumer spends 42% of his income on food. We spend hundreds of thousands of rupees on social functions specially weddings(farooq tirmzi in his article wrote that an average paki wedding cost about 40 times that of average national income of Pakistan). We waste natural water without even thinking twice.
We love building palatial homes. We must possess the latest mobile. We will spend the same amount on 1 buffet meal that we pay our driver for a month.Later we will use any means possible to reduce weight but not restrict diet. We will not turn unnecessary lights off. We will use Air Conditioners not below 18 degree Celsius.The real problem though, is about priorities and not extravagance. Our priorities seem to be hedonism, personal glorification and show off while we don't give a damn about our civic responsibilities. We don't like to pay our taxes.According to a report published on 30th September 2011, Pakistanis pay the lowest tax in the world. We will buy generators and UPSes to ward off load shedding but won’t report electricity thefts. We would save money by avoiding private health care and visiting quacks for our health problems.
We will donate generously to terrorist organizations wearing cloak of jihadis and withdraw our money from banks on 1st of Ramadan.
These attitudes need to change. We can't live like this forever. We should ask what WE are giving this country, rather than what this country is giving us.  Governments in almost all third world countries are corrupt. The change has to be started by us. We can start by switching unnecessary electrical appliances off, by saving water, by avoiding food in Bulk, by spending on our Children’s education, by paying taxes, by arranging simple weddings. It might sound like a utopia but It is easy to do and will ensure a better future for ourselves and our future generations.

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