PM unfurls poverty alleviation plan; will it really work? By Ansar Mahmood Bhatti
The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, on March 28, 2019 announced poverty alleviation plan through a power point presentation prepared by same old bureaucracy, which has been instrumental with same spirit during the past governments also. Ever since inception of Pakistan, respective democratically elected and dictatorial governments used to introduce such plans; created separate dedicated institutions and spent billions on media campaigns just to highlight the initiative but what did we actually achieve at the end of the day? Nothing. Poor continue to be the poor in Pakistan. Homeless continue to be the homeless in this land of the pure and corrupt people continue to be the corrupt. Nothing has changed in last 70 years and presumably nothing is likely to change, if remedial measures are not taken.
The first six months of PTI government have literally taken heavy toll on especially the downtrodden class. People find it difficult to make their both ends meet. But we are told that if winter comes, can spring be far behind. So, put up for a while and wait for good days. The only plus point is that PM Imran Khan himself has a genuine desire to streamline things. This good intention however needs to be followed by practical steps.
The reason, that why such plans always fail is quite obvious. Nations and societies are not built and poverty is not alleviated by metro buses or housing schemes. It is rule of law; social justice; principles of equality and following of teachings of religion, which transform a mob into a vibrant nation. None of them is unfortunately in vogue in Pakistan.
The PM often quotes examples of China that how has it overcome monster of poverty by massive executions of the corrupt ministers and people. But how many corrupt people have been hanged in Pakistan so far? And how many ministers have been shown the door on corruption charges?
The beauty of our legal system is that it helps the haves and further persecutes the have-nots. Our law moulds itself in favour of the powerful people while it has no relief for the hapless and the poor. No plan can work here until and unless these fundamental issues are addressed and the Constitution is followed in letter and spirit.
Roads of diplomatic enclave in a shambles
Majority of roads in the high-security zone i.e Diplomatic Enclave are in a shambles. Despite repeated pleas by the affected diplomatic missions, the authorities responsible for the maintenance remain unmoved. According to a survey, the main road where important embassies including France, Thailand, Italy, the Netherlands, USA, Russian, and China are located, is extremely in a bad shape.
Most parts of the said road are destroyed either due to lack of maintenance of excessive rains. In addition, number of foreign missions on this road has increased with the passage of time however the length and breadth of the road remains the same as it was 20 years ago.
The roads in the posh sectors such as F 6 and F 7 are also in bad condition and foreign missions located in these sectors are facing same challenges.
A senior diplomat on the condition of not being named, said they have written dozens of letters to the CDA but all in vain. He further said that it should be a matter of prestige and dignity for the host country as the apathy of the authorities was earning bad name for the department and the country. “If you do not pay heed to the problems of the respective country, it means you do not respect that country”, he added.
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