Friday, February 11, 2011

Pakistan Happenings: January 2011.

Lahore Shah Alam market blaze with 11 buildings almost coming down, no means to extinguish fires, many millions of rupees market goods burnt including cosmetics and other inflammable material reflects on the behavior and the absolutely lawless and non-chalant behaviour of the Pakistani society.There were no fire extinguishers and alarms. The civil defense laws of keeping fire extinguishers and alarms at all public places and buildings even if present is neither applied nor respected. This reflects on the businessmen, the building owners and the Lahore administration. All are corrupt to the core. Even if a fire inspector comes for inspection , they are given some bribe and they never come back again. There is substandard often stolen electric connections and wiring.The buildings fell down because substandard construction both in terms of design and material was done. It was a miracle that it survived the earthquake that had come a few days earlier. There is no proper exit either in the market or the buildings. The Moon Market fires also did not teach a lesson to these people. The society in general is degenerating. There is no semblance of civilized  civic behavior. It seems that the Pakistani small businessman or trader does not feel responsible. Despite storing massive amounts of highly inflammable material in this wholesale market they had no arrangement for extinguishing the fires.

Incidences of violence are increasing rapidly in Punjab. It seems that the police has a shortage of staff and means to address these issues. They maybe low on their priority. The violence against women ,specifically seems to be on the increase. The four year old little girl who was raped and then buried alive to die and the other little girl raped and body left in an isolated place shows that children are so much at risk in the Punjab towns and villages. The parents are helpless and devastated. It is scary. The Punjab government shows complacency in finding justice to such victims and their families. This kind of scary indifference speaks volumes of the inefficiency and the mindset of the Punjab government to address governance and rule of law issues in this day and age. They are running the province in typical Choudary style of the last century. Even the police that is mainly illiterate seems to be having a backward mindset.Doing away with local government has really reinforced the ancient style of governance which has reflected in failure and utter breakdown of law and order.
In Khyber Pakhtunkhawa many more girls schools are blown. It seems that the little education that was being provided is in doldrums. The people in areas where the army operation is taking place are suffering heavily with displacement, poverty and death and this is not even reported in popular media.The most affected groups are the vulnerable women , children and old people who now have no homes, food, jobs or work.They have been living in other towns and cities especially Karachi burdening their already poor relatives. I am seeing cases of severe malnutrition, anemia and anxiety, depression cases; especially women from these populations. The sad part is that there is no help for them as neither government nor any religious organization recognizes their problems or helps them.The only girls college for the entire Orakzai agency was blown up by the militants on 10th February.Some sort of help for these students has to be given by the government urgently.

In Sindh , the girls college in a major town has been forcibly converted to a granary storage area and fertilizer godown by the Sindh government for the flood victims.Previously these schools and colleges were made refugee camps. All the girls are sitting in old broken area. The government is oblivious to the girl's problems. There are no lady doctors for population in Sindh where the health conditions are cave like especially post floods. The Sindh government and politicians are having it too good in Blackened window AC adorned latest SUVs and their second homes in Hyderabad and Defence, Karachi where the ambiance is so surreal and fantastic.All villages and towns that were flood affected present a picture of devastation where the citizens are aghast with what to do. In Thatta as reported by a  senior journalist the young girls do not have enough clothes to hide their bodies.This is the stark truth which the government is avoiding.
Since the removal of the Karachi mayor Syed Mustafa Kamal, the roads of Karachi are getting broken, sewage is being mishandled, chlorination of Karachi water is stopped and it seems that this largest megapolis is deliberately being made uninhabitable and destroyed to punish the population that votes for Muttahida Qaumi Movement by the Pakistan Peoples Party. This kind of revenge politics will not do and will really destroy PPP goodwill.
Overall the month of January shows that the real issues in Pakistan are not being handled properly and the citizens are really suffering. Governance has reached its lowest and it seems there is no light on the horizon in the near future. A change in government will not help at all as all is rotten in our crate of tomatoes.

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