PAKISTAN'S ELITE:Out of touch with reality

Poor Pakistani Selling his kidney....

MINDLESS of the stark reality of a severe economic downturn in the country, which has compelled it to go round with a begging bowl, Punjab's newly appointed parliamentary secretaries are fussing about getting new cars to go about their official business. When the PML(N)'s Rana Arshad raised the issue on the floor of the House on Tuesday that though appointed some days back, they had neither been provided with staff nor cars, and Law Minister Rana Sanaullah assured him that old "out of order" vehicles were being disposed of and new ones purchased, Rana Masud, who was in the chair, directed him to attend to it without further delay and report to him within five days. He underlined the point that bureaucrats were given perks and privileges immediately on assuming charge of office. The PML(Q) MPAs' point that when their government had taken a similar decision, the PML(N) had raised a hue and cry was lost in the debate.
A vast majority of people do not have the means to afford an independent means of transport: cars, motorcycles or even cycles, not even old ones. The government has miserably failed to meet their needs of public transport, with the result that the commuters have to wait for hours to hitch a ride on overcrowded buses.
Perks and privileges and lavish lifestyle at the expense of the government, whether by the bureaucracy or the elected representatives, have invariably been the bane of Pakistan. And the essential requirements of the socioeconomic sector - building roads and bridges, dams and powerhouses, schools and colleges, hospitals and clinics, and a host of other works - are relegated to the background. It is a pity that the expectations, which the replacement of Musharraf's military regime with a popularly elected set-up had raised, have not been borne out. It is evident from the debate about the new cars that while privileged classes keep getting special treatment, the man in the street is left to fend to himself.

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