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Running the state is a rewarding business


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Pakistan bid goodbye to its Parliament and provincial assemblies last week, and with that, some hurried last minute legislation was in order. Amongst some of the laws passed was a lifetime of perks and privileges for MNAs in the Sindh Assembly, and decisions over a lifetime of security for ex-prime ministers.

Less publicly, questions arose earlier this month over the vast amounts of money taken from the public exchequer for the development of the Defence Housing Authority (DHA), which results in questionable perks for Pakistan’s military.

In the Sindh Assembly, for example, the speaker, deputy speaker, and chief minister have been granted salaries, allowances, and privileges for the rest of their lives. In addition, ministers, special assistants and MPAs will have an increase in their allowances as well as a special new allowance for cell phone charges.

Then, reports indicate that former premiers Yousuf Raza Gilani and Raja Pervaiz Ashraf have allocated 150 constables, four DSPs and two SPs to their protection in Islamabad. Other reports say that the majority of Punjab’s Elite Police Force is busy protecting the Sharifs, the Gilanis and the Ashraf’s despite the fact that they are technically no longer part of government.

 Given the country’s deteriorating economic and security conditions, can these kinds of perks for parliamentarians, judges, and militiraly officials be justified despite the services they have offered to the country? Judges, for instance, also have a lifetime of perks including a car, driver and cook.

Besides all the monetary privileges, a question that arises is why so much security should be provided to our political, military and judicial leaders while the state has failed to protect the lives of thousands over the last few years in particular.

Given the rising levels of terrorism, sectarianism and general violence, what is your opinion about the fact that of the 963 police commandoes in Lahore, around a 100 actually protect citizens while the rest are either on VIP protocol duty or off on training courses or leave?

Comments (17) Closed

Muhammad Farooq Mar 26, 2013 12:47pm
The country faced worst kind of lawlessness, public massacres, sky high inflation and deteriorating economic and security conditions in the last five years. With this dismal government peformance getting a law passed to have salaries and perks for the rest of their lives is like adding insult to the injury. The parliamantarians have done justice to the taxpayers by this act. I pray that Allah may grant them some wisdom to choose between the right and the wrong. Getting extra ordinary security for ex pms is yet another blow. It also shows the value of lives ordinary citizens visa a vis these ex pms and how badly the balance is tilted to the elite class.
Muhammad Farooq Mar 26, 2013 12:49pm
correction: The parliamantarians have done NO justice to the taxpayers by this act.
Agha Ata (USA) Mar 26, 2013 01:34pm
Blind men distributing sweets, but giving it to themselves in every turn.
Maulana Diesel Mar 26, 2013 02:28pm
A politician lives in his constituency and is required to win the minds and hearts of his people. I don't know if our Premiers and ministers who were supposed to be the best among the lot, really required such a big security apparatus. Their perks if calculated and divided justly can accommodate thousands of jobless and needy.
Touseef Mar 26, 2013 04:40pm
Excellent article for the servants of Pakistan who provided nothing but grief to its customers.
Aamir Mar 27, 2013 09:02am
I would say +- 50 and your estimate is pretty correct
Ahmed Mar 27, 2013 11:25am
Yes, the ex-rulers deserve the rewards for killing the poor nation in every sphere of life. They have not asked the people to accept their demands, they just passed their resolution at their own discretion. They will never die nor they will be presented before Allah taala. They will bribe to Angels and will enter into Heaven forever. The Hell is for poor Pakistanis only. Shame on these beggers, calling themselves leaders. Our leaders are famous in the world for their royal beggery. They are not asking for alms, but looting alms. On the other hand which govt. dept. has served the country. Only some individuals have served the country, like Maulana Edhi, Ansar Burney etc. who are running the NGO's with love of people by heart and soul.
Sal Mar 27, 2013 12:38pm
Is there any wonder the roads, electricity and educational systems are in such a poor state? These people should be ashamed of themselves, but they won't be because they have no shame.
Tariq Mar 27, 2013 03:03pm
The "servants" of the people allocate themselves all these perks (security especially) in the eleventh hour of their positions' is because they know they have served their "masters'" very badly and would not survive a day as normal citizens. This is abominable for such a poor country whose economy is so crippled because of excesses and abuses by the official machinery which is in desperate need of a complete top to bottom overhaul.The whole business of the government machinery should be run like a real business enterprise!
Cyrus Howell Mar 27, 2013 04:14pm
It is a fallacy these people are "running the country". They are managing their careers.
Cyrus Howell Mar 27, 2013 04:17pm
The Mongols could have done a better job.
Cyrus Howell Mar 27, 2013 04:19pm
"The State is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else." -- Frederic Bastiat
Agha Ata (USA) Mar 27, 2013 07:19pm
andha bante reverian, apnon hi ko dey. :)
Ali Mar 28, 2013 06:11am
How can you shame the shameless?
Naila Mar 28, 2013 06:44am
The 'opportunists' make me sick to my stomach.
Farooq Ali Mar 28, 2013 09:38am
The security que behind a VIP is now a status symbol ignoring the reality that it is only Almighty God who knows when one will leave this short and temporary life. , and we all are mortals on this earth only our good deeds can make us immortal without having security crowd around us .
Talha Mar 28, 2013 10:16am
Does it matter what we say in these forums, all we can do is to not vote for them again. And ask the new government to repeal these legislation and all the last minute appointments in state owned companies.