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Archive for category Debate Desk


Opinion: Capital suggestion / Sunday, September 28, 2014



Dr Farrukh Saleem

Purana Pakistan









Purana Pakistan has six characteristics.

One, elected leaders treat state assets as their personal estates.

Two, elected leaders mutate civil servants into their personal serfs.

Three, taxes are collected and then spent to fulfill rulers’ priorities.

Four, monetary rewards of political power are extremely high. 

Five, there is massive under-investment in human capital.

Six, power projects are being inaugurated that would produce power at an astronomical rate of Rs41 per unit.

Here are the proofs of the above six.

One, Rehman Malik had a PIA aircraft wait for him for two long hours.

Two, on June 17, Punjab Police killed 14 unarmed citizens.

Three, budgetary allocation for the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is Rs160 million while the annual budget for the PM House is Rs770 million. 

Four, Pakistanis are getting more and more indebted by the minute while assets of the ruling class keep on increasing by the day.

 Five, Nigeria is the only country on the face of the planet with more out-of-school children than Pakistan.

Six, the cost of the Nandipur Power Project has gone up from $329 million to $847 million and if diesel is used to produce power it will cost Rs41 per unit.

This is what purana Pakistan is mostly about.

Admittedly, Imran Khan has no comprehensive blueprint for Naya Pakistan; neither does Allama Tahirul Qadri. What they have done, however, is exposed the purana Pakistan to 180 million Pakistanis. And Pakistanis hate what they see in purana Pakistan.

Here are the proofs that Pakistanis hate what they see in purana Pakistan.

One, passengers threw Rehman Malik off the PIA aircraft – something that has no precedence in our political history.

Two, police high-command has now started demanding written orders from their elected leaders in order to shoot at unarmed citizens.

General (r) Mirza Aslam Baig, for reasons only known to him, may want to call it a foreign conspiracy against Pakistan but, to be certain, throwing Rehman Malik out the PIA aircraft is no American conspiracy against Pakistan. To be sure, police high-command demanding written orders from their elected leaders is no Jewish conspiracy against Pakistan. This is all about Pakistani middle class revolting against purana Pakistan.






Naya Pakistan has to be a contractual state. Naya Pakistan has to have a social contract between the voters and their elected leaders. The social contract must cover three things.

One, who will pay taxes?

Two, how much taxes will be paid by each taxpayer?

Three, how will these taxes be spent?

Naya Pakistan has to have three things – elections, accountability and a responsive government (purana Pakistan has had plenty of elections but neither accountability nor a responsive government).

Here are four steps to a naya Pakistan.

One, alter spending priorities as per voters’ needs and demands.

Two, invest in education and health.

Three, invest in justice.

Four, privatize all public sector enterprises in a competitive, transparent process.

The constitution is not under threat.

The democratic system is not under threat.

Yes, the old political order is under threat.

And, yes, the custodians of the old political order are feeling threatened.








The writer is a columnist based in Islamabad. Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @saleemfarrukh


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Akbar Hussain: 14th January-The Re-awakening the Masses


on 12, Jan 2013 

Taking into account the increasing hardships of the people – the different columnists, political analysts, anchorpersons and even the economists have been talking about the possibility of a revolution in Pakistan and also on who would be behind it during last several years.

Consequently, many political leaders also started claiming that they would bring revolution in the country.  But, surprisingly, whenever the wave of any revolution emerged in the country, the same media men and the political leaders preferred supporting the prevailing system and termed such a wave as a conspiracy by the establishment against the democracy. Everyone has been witnessing the same again when Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri held a very successfully public gathering at Minar-e-Pakistan on December 23rd 2012 and also made an announcement for a Long March for the revolutionary change in the electoral process. This contradiction naturally raises a question where these people are in favor of a revolutionary change in the country for benefiting the common men, or they are the beneficiaries of the existing system?

The most interesting aspect of this is that all the critics of the proposed Long March want Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri and MQM`s leadership to let the present system to continue and that if they really want to bring any change, they should achieve their agenda by coming into the electoral process. The question is, if the prevailing system is so effective, then why do the people of Pakistan have been facing so severe problems for several decades? Why did Pakistan get split into two parts? Why does our country have no value in the international world? If the present had been so fruitful, why do we have to face the Martial laws and the Army interventions in the politics?

 Are corruption, feudalism, injustice, terrorism, inflation, heavy debts, improper law & order situation and the crisis of electricity, water, fuel not sufficient to prove that this system needs be discarded as soon as possible?  How would the common men have any positive expectation from such a Parliament that does not let the legislation, which can benefit the common people, take place?

it is the matter of land reforms, discriminatory taxation, agriculture taxation, making more small units, delegation of administrative authorities to them, deweaponization of the country and facilitating the middle & lower middle class people to come into power, all the beneficiaries of this system get together against the people friendly legislation.  The worst aspect of the prevailing system came to light in 2007 when the movement for restoration of democracy started.

It was claimed not only by the lawyers` community, but also by the judges themselves that the judiciary had been enslaved for the last 60 years despite the presence of the “democratically” elected assemblies. Then, the judiciary had to get its freedom back not by approaching system-generated Institutions, but by way of coming on the roads for mobilizing people. If the system had been good enough, had the deposed judges gone beyond it? Not only the affected party, but also almost all the political and religious parties were with hands in hands on the roads against the democratic government. Should they not have preferred getting their demand met in the Parliament that came into existence by way of the electoral process?



It is also on record that all the Army Generals who sacked the democratic governments and took over the reign of the country, were also justifying their unconstitutional acts arguing that they wanted to help the poor people. The similar case is with the media as well. It also claims to have got its freedom restored after several decades. Would the media persons like to name the constitutionally set up body from which they got their freedom back? So, why is so that when it was the matter of their own freedom, all these people completely ignored the existing means defined by the Constitution, but when it is the matter the of political, social and the economic freedom of the common people they are imposing limitations?? Is it fair? Are they in favor of the peopleor the system that has sucked blood of the people?


In addition to all these, Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri and MQM leadership have been struggling to make the people friendly changes in the system, but the defenders did not let it come true. Now, the level of dissatisfaction of the people has arrived at the point, where meaningful changes have to be made for them. So, if the Long March critics are still of the view that present system can solve the people`s problems, they will have to come up with the concrete solution of their problems from within their system before 14th of January. Otherwise, 14th of January would prove to be as the last of the day of the rotten and corrupt system of the elite class people and a day of re-awakening of the masses!


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