The seizure of City District Government Karachi (CDGK) accounts by the Sindh government pounded the last nail in the coffin of Karachi’s golden era. With the implementation of commissionerate system, all commissioners and District Coordination Officers will now have unlimited power to manage the affairs of the city. The announcement of restoring the colonial style of governance in 21st century has left many Karachiites shocked.
Generally when governments depart, they halt new projects fearing credit-sharing. However, the former Karachi mayor, even at the time of leaving his post, made sure that the numerous projects initiated during his tenure continue in due course. By his action, he had proved himself to be the “Miracle Man”, who turned a messed up city into a truly beautiful megacity.
During his 52-month-long tenure (1,560 days), 2,159 mega projects, each worth Rs 30 million to multiple billions, were completed. Besides, 337 big machines and logistics meant for various amenity works were also purchased.
For the very first time not only the master plan of the city was prepared and given a legal status in the history, but the CDGK also completed 35 flyovers and underpasses; 356 parks; 194 water and sanitation projects; 316 major and supplementary roads and 451 educational projects. As many as 110 projects were completed in rural areas. In the transport infrastructure, 255 bus stops and 116 pedestrian bridges and a big car parking plaza were completed.
On the other hand the tried, tested and failed commissionerate system which openly negates democracy to promote toadies, would reintroduce the monopoly of privileged class over the politics of the country. Interestingly this system is in no way functional in any of the country of the world.
The people of Pakistan, especially in Karachi, have already witnessed what wonders local bodies system brought for them. It was the way for efficiently resolving the problems of the people at the lowest level, the system that had empowered the people who could easily access their representatives whenever they wanted. The commissionerate system in contrast would build up the bureaucratic infrastructure and further ruin the lives of commoners.
The ruling party had comparatively an easier way to provide relief to the people of Sindh by continuing the successful local bodies system. People might have ignored the shortcomings of government if they were educated about the system that ensures betterment of their lifestyle.
It is a time when the nation is being dragged back to the Stone Age. The media should bring the advocates of the commissionerate system to debates and ask them why the system engineered by the British does not even exist in the UK anymore. Anchorpersons should ignite a debate to educate masses about the benefits of the local bodies system and how it delivered.
Indeed the local bodies system was introduced by a dictator, but the people of Pakistan extracted maximum benefit out of it and this is what “true democracy” is all about.
The Op-ed of “Pakistan Today“
Along with inflation, corruption and all other problems, “People’s party” has gifted us the nuisance of loadshedding as well, currently the biggest problem of country. Growing trend of protests, strikes in already screwed up nation clearly depicts Pakistanis’ anger towards Zardari regime but I wonder why our cold blooded rulers are unable to feel the heat.
All political parties have unanimously raised their concerns over excessive power failures in early summers. Water and Power Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf being the certified liar has again tried to give lollypop of slashing loadshedding after April but enough is enough now.
Apparently nothing shudders our stubborn Government. What else can we do ?
I have got an unusual idea that many people would think is obviously quite unlikely. I would say at least an attempt backed by rest of the political forces would indeed bear fruit.
A Long March against the power crisis and inflation would pressurize the non serious Government to sincerely look for a long term solution of this problem. In past Long March has done wonders for the nation, imagine yet again masses moving towards the president house for sit-in to shake up the establishment for their very basic right.
As they say God helps those who help themselves, why not give it a try ?
A perfect example of Pakistan’s Ministry of Water & Power’s seriousness towards service and safety issues . This dangerous image caught my attention while I was going through today’s newspaper at work. I have seen lots of bare wires lying in streets but this one is enough to tell us the story of singular unconcern of HESCO ( Hyderabad Electric Supply Corporation) in Larkana where a mere log is being used as a support to keep in position a high tension electric pole.
On 28th December, A suicide bomber managed to kill 45 mourners as they marched in a procession in Karachi. The blast also wounded up to 60 more people, who were commemorating Ashura, the holiest day on the Shia religious calendar.
While no group has claimed responsibly for the incident yet but it’s obvious that the horrendous explosion on Shia procession was the contribution of our very own Sunni extremist alliance comprised by Lashkar e Jhangi and Taleban linked Jesh e Mohammad, the same Jesh-e-Mohammad that was formed by Molana Masood Azhar, the man released after a deal between Taliban and Indian authorities after the Indian Airline hijacked in Afghanistan.
These organizations are quite active in Karachi and despite being banned they are aggressively engaged in inciting sectarianism.
The Lashkar e Jhangvi & Jesh e Mohammad draw support, inspiration and assistance from various religious-political parties in Pakistan, primarily the Pro Taleban Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) who has a soft corner for Taleban and Al Qaida.
Just last week, Karachi police told Daily Times that they had intelligence that indicated Lashkar-e-Jhangvi would strike at the Shia processions in Karachi.
“They plan to carry out suicide bombings and target killings,” an anonymous police official told Daily Time last week. “These terrorists want to show their strength to the law enforcers and intelligence agencies, and they also want to take revenge of the killings of their leaders and workers in the last couple of months in the city.”
Right after the bomb blast at least 80 percent shops were torched by the extremist elements of Shia community as a reaction. It has been estimated that 2000(Rs. 30 billion loss) shops were set ablaze, which is hugely detrimental to the country’s economy.
Now the question arises how within seconds mobs torched the markets and no one could stop them. While the law and enforcement agencies were engaged in protecting rest of the procession that remained continued even after the blast, the extremist elements of Shia community (who vowed to react if incase of any terrorism during the procession) had loaded themselves with inflammable material that could blaze markets within minutes and did the job accordingly. It may be mentioned here that Iran has been accused of sponsoring Shia militancy (ISO) in Pakistan.
So far MQM is the only political party that has been directly accusing Taliban for every major terrorist attack that has taken place in the country in the last five years however the PPP, PML N and ANP have turned a blind eye towards this issue.
Other than them Jamat e Islami and PTI of Imran Khan support negotiations with Taleban which seems an attempt to curb on going military operation against Taliban, to reunite them and to carry their agenda in more effective way since Pakistan’s tribal area is the strong hold of Jamat e Islami.
The only solution to this problem is strict vigilance on the mainstream as well as underground religious parties of Pakistan whose leaders are freely roaming and preaching hate speech against different sects in Pakistan and gradually earning public support.
Picture that says “Stop conspiring against people’s democratic government” was taken at Korangi Rd. when I was stuck in traffic congestion due to PPP’s procession of 43rd foundation day. Rest you figure out!
Terrorists grip Pakistan, At least 30 people killed in recent wave of target killing, Pakistan witness highest ever inflation, 20 killed in suicide blast, plan to dissolve local governments finalized ….and so on and so forth
We are the nation generally known as not-so-stable country in the world let alone our contribution in protecting human rights or efforts to increase forest cover in the country but to my surprise also we did the latter. Yes!
After the distasteful wave of non-stop bad news we have finally been able to do something great, something that sounds pleasant to hear about, that portrays our positive image to the world and more importantly something to make us proud.
Couple of days back when I was on my way to home I heard the BBC newscaster on radio updating that Pakistan’s
environment ministry has completed all arrangements to set up new Guinness World Record by planting maximum number of mangrove sapling in next 24 hours to break Indian record which they set up in Assam on 13th July 2009 by planting 447,874 trees in 24 hours. Keti Bander’s coastal line will be the area in Thatta district of Sindh province –some 150 km from Karachi and three hundred people will take part in the exercise to break the world record.
This was indeed something new and amazing to me as Pakistan is not considered as environment friendly country. This information had obviously made me curious and I kept thinking for sometime how they would do that. I mean 500,000 is a huge figure! – On the other hand my lateral thinking had also been stimulated, pondering the deception aspects of their activity since our record in Fair Play is not so fair.
Next day the first thing I did was to check Newspaper whether they have really fulfilled their vow — surprisingly they had smashed Indian record. Guinness book of World Records confirmed that 541,176 trees were planted in the 750 acres of the Indus river delta region. Each group was issued saplings by a panel of experts and officials who also monitored the planting process to ensure standards set by Guinness World Records.
The record has been set under the two conditions of Guinness Book of World: 1) plantation was allowed only in day-light and was not allowed in artificial light; and (2) not more than 300 people were allowed to participate in the plantation.
Every line of that particular news was telling the story of triumph, the more I read the more I delighted but alas! Our highly commercialized mainstream newspapers didn’t allocate much space to this good news nor did our Tv channels since this world record do not sensationalize masses.
Our media’s ignorance towards such significant developments speaks volume. Had Ms. Hillary Clinton called President Zardari they would have been publishing this NEWS as Headline or running as News alert to the extent of annoyance but who cares for environment and that Pakistan’s pride which cannot be capitalized.
I am also surprised that many fellow Pakistanis have either no clue of this event or they simply have no or little interest towards this development but whatever behavior they demonstrate at least in this case I am proud of Govt. (especially ministry of environment) and give credit to their sincere attempt to protect nature and to positively bring Pakistan in limelight.
In the end I would quote environment minister Mr. Hamidullah Jan Afridi’s words who beautifully replied to that BBC correspondent’s question who asked that how these 0.5 million plants would help stabilizing Pakistan’s polluted environment. He said “these plants would not only help Pakistan in eradicating pollution, floods, storms, global warming but protect global environment too since nature has no boundaries
Right now battle of SWAT and Rehabilitation of IDPs are the two main fronts where Pakistan is struggling for. By the grace of God our forces have almost accomplished the task and successfully destroyed major militants’ hideouts but regrettably the excuse for fighting this war is still there. Some days back our Government along with all parties had unanimously decided to cleanse SWAT from terrorists and urged to resolve problems of Taliban affected areas once and for all. I don’t know in which state of mind those political parties had taken this decision because right after the beginning of operation, our nation has out rightly rejected the entry of our brothers and sisters of war affected areas into “our” cities.
All major as well as minor political parties seemed to be united on something which is perceived as barbaric in civilized nations; these political parties have shown grave concerns over the settlement of IDPs and have obstinately been exhibiting inhumane behavior towards them through various evil tactics. All what they want is to keep IDPs restricted to WAR ZONE and leave them dying of starvation and bombings.
Every political party according to its capacity is playing up by deliberately issuing confusing statements on IDP issue; for instance MQM talks of IDPs registration, JSQM, the nationalist party of Sindh has straight away stopped IDPs to enter in Sindh province and threatened to pull their camps if installed. Likewise PML N of Nawaz Shareef has adopted a strategy of self-denial. They would pass an Anti IDP statement today and another party member would deny it next day. PTI instead of speaking for IDPs- rehabilitation is still busy in bashing the Government and has remained silent on this issue. PPP being the big brother and weak coalition Government is getting black mailed by their allies and still trying to find out a solution of such a “complicated problem”. ANP and JI in the whole situation are getting maximum mileage out of IDPs and encouraging their influx in their dream cities to strengthen their vote bank.
I believe entire IDP matter is basically revolving around the issue of “Vote”. So called custodians of urban population believe that entrance of IDPs into their cities would negatively affect their vote bank and turn the potential local voter into minority and somehow shrink the existing giants’ market share.
Besides political parties, our own people by embezzling aid for IDPs are worsening this situation. In short all political parties of Pakistan and some individuals have not only worsened this crisis but have unanimously proven to the world and to those poor war victims that we, Pakistanis are the most hypocrite and self centered people on earth.
I don’t know if I should refer this here but after seeing our response to SWAT crises, that statement of American Lawyer has popped up into mind – who once said on record that “these Pakistanis can sell their mothers for money”……