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A state or an estate? by A. H. Khayal

Some Western analysts have declared Pakistan a failing state. The ignorance of the analysts is pitiable. They should have known that Pakistan was never a full-blooded genuine state. It has always been an estate, not a state. How can a state fail which never existed? The analysts ought to apologise.

Sometimes the estate was grabbed by one particular class of Pakistanis and sometimes by another class. The grabbings continued non-stop.

Unfortunately, all the grabbings had one common mission. It was to squeeze as much wealth out of the estate as possible. Almost every squeezing was a fabulously successful squeezing. The masses kept miserably watching. Virtually, nothing was left for them.

Some Pakistanis keep regularly killing themselves because of extreme poverty. They use different techniques for the purpose. Some of them lie on the railway lines to be crushed by the trains.

The trains do not disappoint them. Some of them fling themselves into rivers. The rivers eat them thankfully. Some kill themselves by swallowing various kinds of poisons.

The self-killing by poison creates a mind-boggling problem. The self-killer who uses railway lines for his extinction gets his death free of charge. Likewise, the self-killer who uses a river for his extinction also gets his death free of charge. But he who poisons himself to death where from does he get poison? Poison is not freely available like railway lines and rivers.

He who cannot afford to buy a piece of bread, how does he manage to buy poison? One can’t help suspecting that there must be a secret humanitarian organisation which freely supplies poison to the needy.

Our masses are miserable. The reason is that the rulers consume bulk of the national resources for living like princes. There is a very simple formula for solving our poverty problem. The formula says: “Live within your means.” But, unfortunately, the rulers reject the formula as pure nonsense.

They assert: “Only animals live within their means. We are not animals. We are rulers. We must live beyond the country’s means to distinguish ourselves from the animals.”

Slavery is flourishing as rigorously in Pakistan as it ever did in pre-scientific ages. The rulers are the masters. The masses are the slaves. Once the Twenty-First Century visited Pakistan. It ordered its plane to keep flying over the country for a few minutes.

It observed that the mud houses of the masses were wistfully looking at the palaces of the rulers. It flew back murmuring: “How many more centuries will be required to drive human slavery out of the world? I am ashamed of myself. I wish I was never born.”

Begging in the streets is officially banned. A starving citizen who can get a piece of bread only by begging is barred from begging. Obviously, the ban is unjustifiable. The ban would have made sense only if the government had provided every starving citizen with an alternative means of getting bread. There is no problem which is not solvable if you have the will to solve it.

Unfortunately, for the rulers the starvation of the masses has never been a problem. Almost every government has practised two moralities: one for itself and one for the masses.

The government does not allow the starving citizens to beg. But it has a right to beg for loans from abroad for itself. Every government borrows torrentially from foreign lenders. It spends the loans ruthlessly because it doesn’t have to repay the loans. The loans are to be repaid by the successor government. This sort of begging is more condemnable than the begging by the starving citizens.

Our politicians in power are very responsible persons. But they don’t believe in undertaking unlimited number of responsibilities. So they restrict themselves to undertake only two responsibilities. One of these responsibilities is to squeeze as much wealth out of the national resources as possible for their own personal benefit.

They are masters par excellence of such squeezings. Their second responsibility is to ensure that the masses keep starving and because of the starvation keep killing themselves.The politicians fulfil both the responsibilities with utmost zeal and honesty!

The Nation columns [1]