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Brave new world – season two

The Pakistani love affair with the forklift beats Romeo and Juliet hands down. This machinery is loved by all red-blooded Pakistanis but the police have a particular addiction to it. They lift errant cars with it, transport – precariously one must add – all kinds of light-to-heavy vehicles through congested streets and gravity-defying manoeuvres leaving perplexed owners to search the town for any sign of their vehicle. They have also recently discovered that the forklift can literally make a leader rise into the skies, a theory they tested earlier this week. That Imran Khan then fell down thanks to his so-called security is of course another matter.
IK, who is the fittest 50-plus person I know, was hurt badly and that’s not good news. Those amongst his staff who thought that the forklift was a good device to hoist him up to the top of the container need to be punished. By now, if all goes well, elections should have been completed and the results starting to come in.
The five-year PPP show has been the worst in living memory. It’s not the party’s abject indifference to the poor but its shameless misuse of money and pocketing of billions. Yet, carrying shamelessness to another level, they have no qualms using their dead leaders to further their cause. We all think it will be years before we’ll even begin to fathom the plunder that has taken place. And using the speeches of the dead is in gross bad taste but then the new PPP was never hot on taste.
If the PPP is calling the shots 2013 onwards (God have mercy on our wretched souls), it would be in the fitness of things for the party never to take any decision on any subject that has any relevance to the problems of Pakistan. It is nice and dandy to bad mouth everyone else but what did it do in five years? Well zilch is the answer. The PPP should never give a hoot that there is neither shelter, nor food nor clothing for the masses – that is just a slogan and one its leaders have milked to death. Their campaign was more about maligning the others, particularly the PML-N but over their own terrible record they have convenient bouts of amnesia.
The two prime ministers they dug out of the termite-infested woodwork must rank as amongst the most inept leaders we have had the misfortune to be lumped with; and everyone will agree that in that department the Almighty has been most kind. I mean would you give Raja Rental a job? Of course you wouldn’t. I think one should instinctively distrust men who dye their hair. The PPP has flouted the most basic rules of what a government should be and has let down this poor country in a manner that Pakistan’s worst enemies wouldn’t. It still has the gall to call itself a party of the people. And to add huge insult to the huge injury of having suffered them through five painful years, they will be back in one form or another to make more money and impoverish Pakistan further.
This is not the party Mr Bhutto founded. This is an aberration, but say all this to the battle-weary people and they will tell you something like, ‘so what’s new?’ Every single thing the PPP has touched has been tainted. The amounts that have been pilfered are simply astonishing and institution after institution has been riddled with corruption and wrongdoing – and when you consider they have had five easy years to do what they wished to, you should hang the lot for inefficiency if nothing else.
The BISP has been a money-minting venture in the name of a dead woman whose death remains an enigma. To think that for five years, other than make noises, the PPP didn’t even start to find out what happened to her is damning itself. Now they all weep and beat their chests and groan with pain. For what?
One speaks harshly of the PPP because the party had the opportunity. Here in Punjab, without doubt SS has worked night and day almost like a person possessed but this Mian-penchant for roads seems to have become fixated in their heads, their role model being Sher Shah Suri. The latest 27km jaunt in Lahore has cost millions and yet has been held up as a great example of development work.
Giving laptops is not going to cause a revolution in our pathetic education sector. Most have ended up in the market. It’s as bad as IK saying early on that computers would eradicate corruption because they don’t lie. Most of us didn’t know to laugh or cry. It was the same with the Motorway or the widening of the canal road and felling of thousands of fine trees. Catering to less than 10 percent of the Lahore population it was held up as a fine example of good governance. The NHA website – it goes blank after 2007 – shows an accumulated loss of millions of rupees yet no one talks about it.
The Motorway is a lemon. It always was and always will be. This is not progress. This is flawed juvenile thinking. The concept of VIP schools – my God who came up with that one – in a country where 25 million school going children are not in school, should shake up most administrators, yet has not. We need clinics and maternity homes and better hospitals – not two buses coupled together going up and down. But who can stand up and tell SS that?
Karachi is gone. It is a city awash with crime and killing and looting. No one wishes to control it. The party with its telephone-leader is hot on rhetoric and low on delivery. Ask anyone who lives or works in that once beautiful city. It is another nail in our coffin. And since we can always do with good news, PIA, its MD informs us will be grounded by December 2013. It will simply cease to be and just as well. It’s a sign of the depths we have sunk to. Personally, I will be glad when it is sold in the Landa Bazaar. It does not deserve to exist. So the new leaders are going to soon be part of the great mess Pakistan is. Good luck to them.
The writer is a Lahore-based columnist. Email: masoodhasan66@gmail.com

Masood Hasan, "Brave new world – season two," The News. 2013-05-12.
Keywords: Political science , Political issues , Good governance , Education sector , Corruption , Elections , Politics , Imran Khan , Karachi , PPP , IK , PIA , MD , SS , VIP , NHA , PMLN