KARACHI: Unless the people of this country understand the fact that rich men cannot make laws for the poor ones or big landowners legislate in favour of the workers, the country is not going to tread on the right path. It is the state’s duty to provide its people with basic facilities.
This was said by renowned singer and chairman of the Barabri Party Pakistan Jawad Ahmad, who is contesting election from Lyari’s NA-246 against chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, at a press conference at the Karachi Press Club on Thursday.
Mr Ahmad said the country needed structural and economic reforms. In the case of Karachi, there were a variety of mafias operating — land, water, sugar mafias — which needed to be taken care of (sadd-i-baab hona chahyey). People did not have even basic facilities such as water, electricity, education, while joblessness and accumulation of wealth by a few were major issues that citizens were faced with.
Mr Ahmad told the media that he was vying for a seat to the legislative assembly from Lyari, NA 246, against Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari. The PPP had proved to be a party of jageerdars (landlords) though it talked about roti, kapra aur makaan (food, clothing and shelter). Even today the minimum wage for workers was Rs15,000, which was unrealistic. How could anyone lead a comfortable life with that amount? And the PPP and the (last) Sindh government did nothing about it, he complained.
Mr Ahmad said time had come to improve Lyari’s situation. Water scarcity was the biggest problem confronted by residents of Lyari, and his Barabri Party Pakistan, would address it. Health and education sectors too had been ignored in the area. The people of Lyari lived in small houses. Political parties were not doing anything substantial to help people better their lives, instead, to date they were fielding ‘electables’ (for the upcoming polls).
Mr Ahmad said it needed to be analysed as to why this (the electable situation) was happening. The reason was, he explained, that no rich man could legislate laws for their poor fellow beings or no landowner could legislate in favour of the working-class people. It was the state’s duty to think about these issues. Mr Ahmad claimed soon the younger lot of the country would join his party.
Published in Dawn, July 13th, 2018