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Pillage or development?

October 05, 2012

ACCORDING to newspaper reports Gujjar Khan has hit the jackpot after Multan as the latter’s development funds are being transferred to the former. This has generated fears of the wastage of funds already spent on several projects initiated in his hometown by former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. After taking over as prime minister, Raja Pervez Ashraf has initiated development projects worth billions of rupees in his city, Gujjar Khan, because of which funds for work in Multan have been stalled. …

On the surface, there is democracy in our country and people vote politicians into power; yet in reality it is a game of chance that they win. Some get seats because of the backing of army generals, others by appeasing the president or because of a wink by those who matter, still others by sheer chance created after the departure of [a politician]. Such people know full well that they are not qualified for the seats they have grabbed…. To avail themselves of another opportunity and to win people over, they start development work in their constituencies and open the floodgates of government jobs for their voters, doing great injustice to other regions....

Mr Gilani was not the prime minister of Multan only. He had no right to spend taxpayers’ money on development in Multan alone. But everyone saw him inaugurating a number of projects in the city while highlighting discrimination against South Punjab and advocating the division of the province. After his departure, Mr Ashraf came into power. He, too, is not the prime minister of Gujjar Khan alone, but funds are being diverted there. Our rulers must understand that by usurping the rights of other cities, they earn nothing but hatred. And power in Pakistan is not gained through such deeds but through ‘other qualities’.—(Oct 4)

Selected and translated by Intikhab Hanif.