Our prime minister seems ecstatic that his government has lasted as long as it has. And maybe he has reason to be. He proudly said recently that he was the longest serving prime minister of Pakistan, second only to ZA Bhutto, with 45 months under his belt. No mean feat, I am sure, in a country which is riddled with all kinds of problems.
However, someone should tell the august leader that it is not enough for a government to last long, if it doesn’t have anything to show for that long time of leisure at the expense of taxpayers. This government has been seduced by the glittering perks and privileges that have become a very important part of “governance”. I don’t want to be the party pooper but no government should only be remembered for setting a record of being in power for the longest time, it should be remembered for the most people-centric goals that it achieved while there.
All over the world, governments are judged on the work they achieved during their time in power which provides them a platform from which they can later ask for votes. However, our leaders know that our voters are a gullible, starving, miserable lot that can be programmed during the last few months before elections, fed the necessary propaganda, untruths and false promises, and who like lab rats will cast their votes for whoever the powers that be want them to choose.
It seems our PM has been led astray by his experts and advisers about the economy for him to have stated that the economy is improving. It wouldn’t be wrong if we ask: ‘Sir, of which country?’ Maybe from his vantage point – from where he sees land cruisers, sprawling mansions etc, – he is right, the economy of the country he sees is in fact getting better. From down here in the country called Pakistan, things are not so good.
If he desires to see this country he won’t have to go very far, he can go to Pindi or Lahore, where he’ll see large groups of people scouring the streets looking for unused timber to burn to cook and keep warm. Maybe then will he understand that the country is facing another huge crisis – the gas crisis. – adding to the long list of existing national miseries like poverty, starvation, unemployment, price hikes and, of course, our very old problem the power shortages.
Many of us had great hopes pinned on this government but it failed us as it has been fixated on trying to achieve the record of being the longest serving one, instead of being the one which achieved goals. Constant assurances from the top sound like a lot of noise down here where we Pakistanis live, and I am sorry it isn’t making much of an impression on the majority. The people of Pakistan don’t need hollow promises of change, they need to see change. They need to feel that things are being done for the betterment of the majority, not the select few living in the clouds.
Personally, I am sick of paying the salaries of government servants from top to bottom from my meagre income but getting nothing for my depreciating money’s worth. And I am not alone in feeling this way. You know what will look good in Pakistan’s political history, dear PM? That you were the longest serving premier of Pakistan whose tenure achieved some goals that went some way in mitigating the misery that afflicts the lives of millions in this country.