THIS is apropos the news ‘BAP senator wants aircraft for legislators’ (Sept 26). The ludicrous demand by the senator of the Balochistan Awami Party in the upper house, asking for a dedicated aircraft for the use of parliament members, is not only condemnable, but also needs a bit of introspection.

A country like Pakistan, which has been facing several challenges for long, especially on its economic front, cannot afford such a luxury. This demand is against the so-called austerity drive that was initiated with such frenzy by the government when it had started its tenure. One simply fails to understand this preposterous demand given the ongoing circumstances of the government and the country.

It goes without saying that rather than demanding an aircraft, the legislators should set themselves as role models for the countrymen to follow by using public transport and other ordinary services. Otherwise it would be harder for the people to connect the austerity slogans with the ground realities, for actions speak louder than words. They certainly do.

While looking at the growing current account deficit and skyrocketing open market dollar exchange rates, coupled with soaring inflation, the BAP senator should have initiated a parliamentary debate on ways to bring in economic changes to ease the challenges of the common man.

The parliamentarians as well as all government officials are paid out of the government exchequer. They should make every possible effort to bring in positive changes for the tax-payers, and carry out their respective tasks judiciously while using a minimalist approach.

Owing to the hydra-headed monster of challenges, Pakistan cannot afford luxuries. Austerity is the only way forward.

Fazal Rehman Safi
Illinois, USA

Published in Dawn, October 26th, 2021

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