The whole country has been in the grip of a financial trauma in the aftermath of political and economic crises making the life of a common man miserable. The annual inflation rate has jumped to an alarming proportion of 21.3 percent in June of 2022, from 13.8 percent in the previous month, which is the second worst in Asia after Sri Lanka. The devaluation of Pak rupee is registering record low on a daily basis. People’s earnings are stagnant while the cost of living is spiralling high. Higher food and fuel costs are testing the nerves of the masses. In such a bleak situation, parliamentarians are reluctant to focus on real issues faced by the masses. Rather, they are working on a single agenda that relates to the acquisition of power by hook or crook. They are busy reigning in their horses to get into power corridors.
Looking at the conditions in which the majority of Pakistanis exist, it is not an exaggeration to state that people in power do not seem to be interested to ameliorate the suffering of a common Pakistani whose quotidian existence consists of numerous ordeals to keep his body and soul together.
The masses are eagerly waiting for relief. They are becoming sick of politicians’ attitude, who after coming into power, become oblivious to their plight. For the masses, it will make no difference either Hamza Shehbaz rules Punjab or Pervez Elahi, they are more concerned about their day-to-day problems.
Since the independence of Pakistan, not a great deal has changed, and living conditions for a common citizen have gone from bad to worse during all these years. Successive governments have failed to ensure the provision of even the basic civic amenities to the poor: food, shelter, education, healthcare, clean water, electricity, gas. There are many areas in Punjab and other provinces where utilities like gas and electricity are unknown, while other citizens are provided these utilities in small doses.
Unemployment is rampant not only among the illiterate but many educated persons are also without jobs. Low-income families live in conditions unfit for animals, and the unavailability of good schooling and health facilities adds to the bleak picture. The existing condition of government schools is very poor. The social fabric of society needs an overall improvement. Instead of indulging in dirty politics of wooing candidates of rival parties, political heads of mainstream parties need to divert their energies to easing the life of a common man.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Pakistan People’s Party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Muttahida Qaumi Movement and other parties are busy wrangling over petty politics while nobody is truly paying heed to the problems of a common man. Is relief from poverty possible in the absence of social equality? Can our leaders put an end to poverty in Pakistan, where making ends meet and earning an honest living is no mean feat? Government provides no safety nets for the beat-up Pakistani citizenry, 30 percent of which lives below the poverty line. Measures that are currently taken for education, housing, sustenance, health care, pension, unemployment, insurance, public transportation, social amenities and protection of children are meager and insufficient to meet the demands of a growing population.
The real stakeholders of Pakistan have no interest left in the political upheavals or the judgments of the superior courts. They are more concerned about the power crisis and ways and means to earn their bread and butter. All Pakistanis want is to earn basic sustenance, stay safe amid the existing law and order situation, and be able to conduct their day-to-day lives with hours of continuous power supply. The sad fact is that it is highly unlikely they would be able to get any of these things in the near future. And what is to be remembered is that all these things are nothing but basic necessities. That’s what makes the picture truly grim. Whose fault is that?