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New govt and economic policies

June 06, 2013

DOES our new messiah, whom we have elected for the wrong reasons, have the courage to listen. His solution is worse than the cure.

I shiver at the consequences of having elected a wrong leader for the wrong reasons. A huge Ponzi scheme is on the cards. Let me share my misgivings on another plane.

Exploiting the Pakistani diaspora in the Middle East in search of more and more money to finance the government is the key to PML-N’s search for resources to finance its expenditure.

Former PML-N senator Enver Baig has drawn up a policy on manpower exporting 600,000 to Gulf states.

What a callous exploitation of the labour. The PML-N is saying we cannot offer you jobs here because the treasury is empty and we need money to finance our schemes.

Bullet trains cannot be built on grass though the nuclear power can be. Has the PML-N ever asked? How miserable Pakistan labour is sharing accommodation with each other. Can you imagine taking turns to sleep? Can you imagine the deep contempt of the locals whose jobs these people threaten?

I defy Nawaz Sharif and his people to subject their own families to this horrible fate and discover how dehumanising this experience is. The PML-N is saying, we will not bring back our money, but you will make it possible for us to finance our Ponzi schemes.

And please note two issues here. The performance of our embassies in safeguarding the interest of our labour is miserable. Our embassies just do not have the time to look after the labour’s interest. Guess what? The Indian embassy is very proactive and will always defend Indian workers’ rights.

Now a word about the middle class expatriates. Go to any country in the Middle East and you will find that they prefer the Indians.

In fact, go to a country like Bahrain and what will you find? You will find the Indian schools celebrating 50 years of cooperation with Bahrain and you know how many there are: hundreds.

And Pakistan has a school improperly managed. These are the issues that need his immediate attention. Nawaz Sharif is short-selling both the expatriate labour and the middle class. He should get his act together. First deserve, then desire.

Having said this, we know that the greatest opportunities for employment lie with Saudi Arabia.

Nawaz Sharif has excellent relationship with the Saudis. He should exploit this opportunity. I wish to thank him and I wish him loads of good luck.

IQBAL ISMAIL                   Karachi

Eliminating VIP culture PRIME Minister Nawaz Sharif has announced that he will not be living in the PM House.

That is a very noble and commendable gesture and can go a long way in saving a lot of money for the cash-starved national treasury, as well as in abolishing our notorious VIP culture.

It is hoped the prime minister means it sincerely and it is not a political gimmick. According to a news report, caretaker Prime Minister Hazar Khan Khoso had moved out of the PM House which is to be refurbished before the new prime minister takes over.

If Nawaz Sharif is not going to occupy the PM House, why is the taxpayers’ money being wasted on its refurbishing? These funds should be utilised for converting the PM House into a frugal use as an institution, university or some other useful public facility.

If the new prime minister manages to stand by his commitment, provincial governments will have to emulate his example, which also happens to be PTI chairman Imran Khan’s declared stance.

All the governor houses and chief minister houses will be put to public use and in the process billions of rupees being wasted from the meagre resources of a poor country will be saved.

These millions of rupees, which are being spent on provision of excessive security to VVIPs and their families, can be saved by rationalising the security arrangements of VVIPs.

If we want to develop and prosper as a nation, we have to become frugal and egalitarian.

The newly-elected prime minister, chief ministers and parliamentarians must get rid of their old VIP hang-ups and serve the nation in a selfless and sincere manner. Otherwise we will be back to square one.

Hopefully, Nawaz Sharif’s apparently sincere announcement will start a new trend with the active and willing support of the PTI.


PTI, ‘electables’ & realpolitik AFTER a huge PTI gathering at Minar-i-Pakistan on Oct 30, 2011, the so-called ‘electables’ made a beeline for the party. The media, however, asked how the old tried and tested faces could bring about the change that the PTI promised.

Imran Khan answered this question by saying that there was a difference in the electoral dynamics of rural and urban areas.

In rural areas, we need electables; in urban areas, the party can blood young unknown faces. That was a fact. But the media misguided the people who showed their hostility towards the electable-rich PTI. Plus, the PTI decided to hold intra-party elections, which further alienated the electables.

The exodus was as spectacular as the influx. PTI’s loss was PML-N’s gain. The PML-N got its act together. It lured youth with laptops, and the dynamic Shahbaz Sharif completed the metro bus project in a record time.

Now, the electables made a beeline for PML-N and the party eagerly lapped them up. The result of 2013 elections was sealed.

The PML-N swept to victory in Punjab with the ideal mix of an electables’ personal vote bank and the party’s popularity in a given constituency.

That was classic realpolitik. Perhaps, Pakistan is not yet ready for the change the PTI promised. May be, another five-year dose of traditional politics will bring about that change. Let us hope for the best.