The Sick Man of Asia: Pakistan


My morning began with my phone bursting with tweets and messages of the PKR 6.72/litre increase in petrol prices. The price of petrol is now PKR 227.19 per litre. Despite the strengthening of the local currency against the US dollar, the price of petrol has not come down. The increase in the prices of petrol is a great problem for the working class who live from pay cheque to pay cheque. The crushing blow, with expensive electricity and skyrocketing inflation has pushed the middle class into the lower middle class.

While I was scrolling through Twitter, I found a video of a woman complaining on how her electricity bill for consuming 500 units cost her PKR 25,000, and her grocery bill which did not include the basic ration was a striking PKR 17,000. Tears rolled down her eyes as she put forth the dilemma of making ends meet and surviving despite working hard. In this glum situation the employers should consider work from home arrangements for their workers. It will also benefit the employers by reducing their electricity, stationery and other expenditure.

The increase in fuel price should also alert the policy makers and make them realise the need for better strategies and alternate commuting options such as public buses, and promoting bicycles. This independence day, India introduced its first ever locally made electric car. But our country is far from locally making cars, let alone electric cars. Hybrid cars in Pakistan which are imported and are used are sold at hefty prices making it hard for the working class to afford it easily.

This is a troubling situation for the general public. The political elites are unhinged by the toll their tug-of-war for power is taking on the people they want to rule over. The political leadership is only concerned with pointing fingers at one another, forgetting about the populace and their wellbeing. PM Modi in his speech on 15th August vowed to make India a developed nation in the next 25 years, but Pakistan is still battling to find a path to success. The sick man of Asia, Pakistan, is on the verge of bankruptcy. Climate change has altered the rainfall patterns resulting in excessive inundations and countrywide destruction. The militant group TTP has made its way into Swat, and is trying to martyr our hardworking army men. There is only one cure for this sick-man and that is revolution. The revolution might come in several forms, and does not necessarily have to be destructive in nature. The revolution will need people to put their differences aside, join forces for the greater good.



by Amna Sheikh




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