STRAIGHT TALK by Hafeez Khan

“Gidr de maut aaway te shehr wal dorda aay. “When it’stime for a jackal to die, it runs towards the city.” With a Punjabi background, it is easy to pick a folklore that conveys it all in few words. That is what is happening to our nation these days. Shortsighted rulers, who weaseled their way to power through manipulation, stand blinded like a deer caught by a spot light. They have no clue how to deal with a plethora of ailments; anyone of these can be lethal for the country.

The whole world is watching us cannibalize our own guts,totally bewildered. I have to share this anecdote. Marek Tufman is my lawyer. He is outstanding in his profession, well established and well respected. Over years we have become close friends. I share my articles with him as he gives a refreshing and unbiased perspective. He grew up in Poland post WW II under a communist regime. He is able to empathize with our pain under a fascist regime. Despite being extremely busy, I believe I got him hooked! I will get him to Pakistan one of these days.

Last weekend we were together. He raised two interesting points. “Hafeez you and IK claim the present rulers are corrupt and damaged goods. How did they come to power? Secondly, in a democratic dispensation, when all sides believe there are serious problems, why can’t all parties sit together and find a solution through popular will?”

His logic was simple, undeniable like writing on the wall. Yet we continue to bury our head in sand. We are in a downward spiral with no end in sight. Even Providence seems to be signaling through these relentless rains never experienced before in my lifetime. Last night a friend talked about Karachi. As rain slows traffic, it is being exploited by criminals to loot and snatch. Daylightrobberies are happening openly. What are we coming to? Karachi has a population larger that Ontario; it is degenerating into a lawless metropolitan with law enforcement agencies totally paralyzed.

Here are some facts. The economy is shrinking andinflation has doubled since this regime was installed. Current account deficit is ballooning. It is a double whammy; on one side rupee is depreciating at a pace never seen before; on the other hand our credit rating is dropping like a brick. We are becoming a risk that international donors will shy away from. Electricity prices have doubled, petrol and diesel costs have sky rocketed; despite a big drop in international oil prices. It is causingindustry closures thereby sharply reducing exports. As a student of economics, clearly we are headed for bust; default in conventional terms.

While writing this article I paused to mull over what has happened since this regime was thrust upon us. I searched for just one good thing PDM government has achieved that can be termed as positive relief to the common man. Unfortunately none exist. Their actions revolve around making NAB toothless; creating legislations to cover their criminal looting and money laundering. Muzzle the media, brutalize those who don’t agree and intimidate through false cases. Bullies are weak people who use brute force to bulldoze because they have no arguments. Their latest onslaught is really vicious. They are using state owned PTV to falsely propagate religious hatred amongst the people. Javed Latif of PML (N) is a ticking time bomb used by Maryam media as an attack dog. He is attempting to paint IK as a Jewish agent or a non-believer. It is an attempt to instigate religious fanatics to harm him. What a shame.

After years of dormancy, Lal Masjid has been taken over by its own Imam housing armed gunmen. Having failed in previous malicious schemes to force IK from the political arena; they are attempting to take refuge in a scoundrel’s den of religious discord and the resulting senseless violence. Why can’t they focus on the real issues confounding this nation? Widespread floods and the resultant disasters are causing unbelievable misery. Districts in Sindh, like Dadu, are clutching at straws just to survive.

The Royals of Sind, Bhuttos, are completely uninvolved. Other than appearing on TV unshaven like Devdas in mourning, Bilawal, the leader of PPP is nowhere to be seen. He is most likely sulking over missing his foreign junkets. His loyal Sindhi’s are drowning while his Party stalwarts steal aid given by foreign and domestic donors. It is time for people of Sindh to wake up for a reality check.

Mafia Don, NS, sitting in London has been able to pull strings to achieve all his nefarious designs. Now he is seeking his crowning glory; naming the future Chief. Under no circumstance he should be permitted any role in this appointment that will sow discord for a Government that emerges through fair and free elections.

How is the non-coherent PM Sharif reacting? While hospitals are unable to take in the scores of dengue patients, he is off on foreign tours. For him it is all about how he looks on TV. Like an ageing, washed out comicseeking his lost glory, he has no chance except cause more embarrassment. He is seeking to have the floodgates of funding open because he came in to serve his foreign masters. He stands thoroughly exposed; noone funds an insolvent and incompetent wannabe leaderwho has no public support. 

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