Connect with us

Democracy

Drought Hit Achhro Thar

Published

on

The people of Thar are facing severe water the water available through the old Wells has become salty and contaminated and considered very dangerous for health requiring Immediate attention from the government authorities. The food items are scarce and that has made the life of poor Tharis miserable under the sizzling hot weather.

The Recent drinking water crisis in Thar in wake of severe drought has opened a new Pandora box of  the Sindh Government regarding their tall claims that the Situation in Thar has been under control which is tantamount to hiding the grave crisis that prompted several  Thari Sindhis to commit suicide and get rid  of these challenging situation in which they lost their hopes from all  the quarters as they did not  have the rains for the last two years that has caused such a large Scale natural calamity.

 It is really sluggish on the part of Provincial Disaster Management authority not making any contingency plan for such natural calamity that might have been an eye-opener for the Federal and Provincial Government to take immediate measure for its control.

Though, it was a welcome decision from Sindh Government had declared the emergency in Thar due to the severe drought that has created a serious scarcity of  Drinking water and Fodder for the livestock in the  Achhro Thar (white Thar) named due to white Sand in Khipro Tehseel of the District Sanghar.

The abysmal living conditions in Achhro Thar mostly located in Khipro Tehseel of  District Sanghar warrant to take serious steps so that the drought-hit areas may be given assistance in food as well as Clean drinking water may be provided to help mitigate disaster effects.

The drought has completely destroyed the water quality as it has become poisonous and causing various water-born diseases and gobbling the precious lives of the People of  Thar.  Even, in Chhachharo, the  Government’s so-called  RO plants are not functional these have further aggravated the already worst situation.

It was debated and criticized by the Sindh Assembly members during their session that Federal Government has sent 40000 Tons of  Wheat to Afghanistan on goodwill gesture but they have forgotten their Fellow Pakistanis i.e People of  Thar to show the same  level of goodwill gesture. The members of the Assembly belonging to ruling PPP, Criticized the Federal Government’s move and demanded to announce  Thar Relief Package so that poor  Thari  People may have resources needed for their survival.

ALSO READ :  Government to Address Inflation and Low Domestic Productivity

To some extent, the demand is genuine since the  People of  Achhro Thar are Pakistani first and then Sindhis within the purview of  Sindh Province, but the Federal Government cannot be held responsible for the all this mess and calamity happening due to severe climate Change and negligence.

The Provincial Government must come forward on the emergency basis and help poor Thari People including Men, Women , Children and prevent them from dying of Hunger and Thirst. The Thari people must be helped on the basis of the Humanitarian Grounds and as per the citizenry rights assured by the Constitution of Pakistan. 

The  UN Agencies such as Unicef, UNFPA, UNDP, WFO and WHO must come forward to help the Provincial Government of Sindh in this natural calamity. The Development Partners and Philanthropists must come forward on the same page devise a comprehensive disaster management policy that may be implemented to prepare the people of Thar against future natural disasters and strengthen their resilience.  The Blame game should be and the Federal Government must announce the immediate Relief package for the  People of  Thar and should work with Provincial Government to help improve the living conditions of the People and make Sustainable living Plans for the People of the area.

There should not be any discussion or argument or debate that whether this disaster is  Provincial Subject or Federal Subject but the Debate should be that how to prepare these people for these natural  Disasters and build their resilience against such climate Change Happenings.

All the Chief Ministers of  Provinces must come on the single page and help each other in times of natural calamities-  be it Earth Quake, Rain Flooding or   Canal or River Water Flooding or  Drought in the desert areas of Sindh, Baluchistan and Punjab where the main source of sustenance is the  Livestock. If the Livestock starts dying of hunger and Thirst, then how will people of Thar survive in such dismal living conditions.

In this whole  saga , the role of  National Disaster Management Authority and provincial PDMAs is pivotal since their main purpose of establishment is to create awareness amongst the communities  regarding the  serious effects of drought and protect  the Lives of  People and their Properties and their livestock . The NDMA and  PDMA Sindh should immediately form a team containing the  Experts of  Disaster Management for the Damage assessment and recommend   the sustainable solutions so that in future the level of damage may be minimized.

It is criminal negligence of  NDMA and  PDMAs owing to their  inactiveness,  given the serious  drought condition where the drinking water is becoming extinct  and the  insufficient  water  taken out from the ancient wells  is  injurious to health owing to high level of contamination as according to reports of some  development Sector organizations  that the water samples  taken from the Thar Desert contain alarmingly 6000 to 7000 TTC that means  that water is  just like  slow Poison as such a high TTC may cause  severe bodily or abdominal complications leading to deaths due to such water contamination.

ALSO READ :  LGs and welfare

The Chairman Sindh Water Commission  Chief Justice (retd) Amir Hani Muslim has already raised the eyebrows of the Government by presenting  the  water Quality report that  99%  of  The people of Sindh drink contaminated water and rather compared it with the sewage water, that is really embarrassing and the eye-opener for the people to wake up and raise their voice.

Finally, The Sindh Government must wake up from the deep slumber and immediately establish Thar Welfare Fund or Relief Fund to help our fellow Pakistani brothers who are living under severe conditions.

The Chief Justice of  Pakistan must take suo-motto notice of  drought in Achhro Thar and  pass strict orders to the Federal Government as well as  the provincial government of Sindh to help  the People of  Thar to face this natural calamity with great level of resilience since they have already fought with it all alone  but we as  Pakistanis  should not  leave  them alone in this hour of Need . Since we are one nation and should feel the pain in any organ of our Federation.

It is really pity for us that though the United  Arab Emirates is a desert area it attracts the people around the world and their main economic source is tourism.

Pakistan should develop these  Desert areas and establish Purified  Artificial Water storages, Schools ,Colleges and Modern Hospitals so that living standards of these calamity challenged people may be improved and Economic activities  may be created   such as  handicrafts  and the music industry since thari people are  very skilled in handicrafts and they have great interest  in folk music as well.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Democracy

Intense polarization and Pakistan’s democratic future

Published

on

Pakistan has been a polarized polity and consequently, a divided society for the past half century, and even longer if we look back deeply into its history. It started with the serious differences among the political elites of the country over the character of the state, quality of federalism, relationship between religion and governance and ideological choices. One may argue that it could be a normal process in a diverse nation’s struggle to take a definite direction and achieve stability in the formative phase. But one wonders why it would take nine years in writing the first constitution and then its annulment within three years without any general elections or transfer of power happening under it.

Without getting into the details, it was the inability of the ruling elites, their diverse regional backgrounds, personal vested interests in power grabs, and for that purpose, engineering of political manipulation to wreck governments and forms new ones.
Factions of the same elite under different party platforms kept displacing one another from power endlessly until the military took over in 1959. There is another view that political elites were innocent and they were actually played against one another as puppets by the civil and military bureaucracy.

This is too charitable a perspective to excuse the political elites and their never-ending factionalism, which continues to this day, after a long history of 74 years. If they had played by the rules, demonstrated political solidarity on principles and forged a political consensus, the democratic norms and convention would have gelled over time. The recent ouster of former prime minister Imran Khan, despite the fact that he had the largest party in the parliament with 156 members losing power to a motley group of political factions, the closest second having only 86 members and forming the new government, speaks a great deal about persistent polarization. The sad story of Pakistan is that naked factional elite interests have shaped these power plays, often by seeking friendly intervention from the powerful judicial and security institutions.

Generation after generation, coming from the same feudal-tribal social background, Pakistan’s political elites have promoted political values that run counter to nation and state-building.

The normal and expected role of the political elites in any form of political system is working toward stability, order, national unity, solidarity and continuity along with ensuring progress, social and economic development.
The Pakistani elites have done quite the opposite: polarizing and dividing people along ethnic, religious, ideological and narrow political lines. Generation after generation, coming from the same feudal-tribal social background, they have promoted political values that run counter to nation and state-building in ethically and demographically diverse society.
Ultimately, it is the rapacious character of the Pakistan ruling classes, their low commitment to rule of law and accountability and access to power as means of material benefits that have stunted the growth of democracy. In such conditions, the military has assumed the role of ‘guardian’ of the state, and has regularly managed political conflicts erupting over power struggles among the elites.
The present polarization between the PTI and the rest of the 11 so-called political parties and factions is not new. It is a continuation of the same historical pattern, only the main characters have changed. Each successive confrontation has been more severe than before. The ongoing clash looks like political warfare with no-holds-barred, barely covered with a fig leaf of constitutionality. This has been in the making for the past nine years when Imran Khan challenged the fairness of the 2013 elections. The others, in return, questioned the accuracy of the 2018 vote and vowed to oust him from power by forming a joint alliance, launching street demonstrations, and finally succeeding by winning over dissidents from his party and coalition partners and moving successfully a vote-of-confidence motion in the National Assembly.
The sudden change of heart by four coalition groups supporting Khan and the open betrayal of 20 members of his party have raised many troubling questions about the neutrality of powerful state institutions. This adds another dimension to the political conflict playing out in media, civil society and the general public. 

ALSO READ :  Imran Khan’s graceless exit

Khan has instantly decided to engage in popular agitation against what he calls an ‘imported’ government by weaving a narrative of foreign ‘conspiracy’ and accusing some as ‘traitors.’ His decision to resign from the national assembly en-masse is stunning and may prove to be an adventurous path to Azadi‘liberation’ for the country. He will be doing politics now not in the parliament but in the streets, rousing public anger against the ‘corrupt mafia’ and demanding fresh elections. 

Via ArabNews

Continue Reading

Democracy

Democracy: A colonial hangover

Published

on

The system is premised upon the idea that one head would count one vote. Although the notion theoretically solves the basic inequality problem, it generates far greater inequalities’

Right after the Second Great War, though the British did leave this continent for good, they left a mess for the people of the newly founded nations to collect. Oftentimes, while trying to rationalise their colonial past, many of its fervent advocates claim that one of the greatest things that colonised countries inherited, which they would not have otherwise, was the idea of democracy: A new system of governance. A facile narrative to cover their smelly past, but also a false one.

Like many other nation-states, Pakistan also adopted democracy at the time of its inception, taking its cue from the then supposed leaders of the world. It hoped that by doing so, it too would reap the benefits that democracy promised to bring along – equality, freedoms, free-market economy and stability. However, many of these states descended into martial laws under despotic rules or turned rogue. Pakistan’s own fate was no different.

Perhaps, there are inherent flaws that everybody tends to overlook because of the way it was delivered to us and by whom – our old masters giving us the parting gift. But why is it that, to date, the same system working with far greater efficiency in the West fails miserably in developing nations?

Free market is a preeminent feature of democracy and in theory, it was supposed to be the lodestone towards freer and more egalitarian societies. But all it accomplished in reality was a further chasm in inequality and degeneration into pure consumer capitalism. This marvel made it so that power would concentrate in the hands of the affluent, making it essential for the politicians to remain in their thrall if not from within them. This notion is precisely misleading when looking at western societies. The idea of social-welfarism – which began in the early 1900s only – bridged this gap to an ‘acceptable’ degree both in terms of social and economic equality. But can this ever be achieved in countries like Pakistan or India: Reeking of moral corruption, notoriously venal, elections manifestos premised upon intolerant suppositions, bedevilled histories and above all, rugged with indigence?

ALSO READ :  After Biden's move, Pakistan calls for complete release of Afghan central bank assets

The system is premised upon the idea that one head would count one vote. Although the notion theoretically solves the basic inequality problem, it generates far greater inequalities. This perspective is not supposedly a new idea and was also put forth by B.R. Ambedkar at the time when he was penning the Indian constitution. The idea of an English democracy did not particularly resonate well with another leader of the Indian freedom movement: Mahatma Gandhi.

One might inquire the reason why these leaders were so sceptical of democracy. The answer can be found precisely in today’s time. Even a fleeting look at the Modi regime could call a day of reckoning for all purveyors of democracy: de facto martial law in Kashmir, systemic persecution (as witnessed in Gujrat) and discrimination against ethnic minorities, populism at its peak, leading India into regressivism – and all this being done by the ‘democratic power’ vested in Modi by the ‘largest democracy’ in the world. Maybe such foresight left some of the leaders of the Indian Independence Movement disenchanted with democratic prospects, fearing that such a system would spawn the same problems that they sought independence to curb.

Pakistan, billed as the single Muslim nuclear power has always had to maintain an international image. The problem with the image is that it is examined on western ideals of which democracy stands to be the single biggest factor, irrespective of how nominal it is. This ensures aid, loans, and all sorts of international support for said country.

If such a scene is set, how can really a country decide what system serves its people best? It is as if countries are being goaded into something simply because they cannot yet afford a dignified existence for their people. It is not to whinge that democracy is rooted in every problem or to anoint it with a gilded halo as the saviour of nations.

ALSO READ :  Sania Approves Cognitive API Architecture For Ehsaas’ One Window Socioeconomic Registry

The point in matter is to maybe think beyond for more egalitarian and just systems of governance. To not only aim at democracy as a metric to be reasoned among civilised nations. To make it in essence, once again, the society of Lycurgus, the society of Plato, the society of Marcus Aurelias which could push beyond what they could see. These rusty gateways of discourse, which would require some pushing, need to be opened. Maybe democracy works, maybe it does not – but the answer, in the end, lies with the people.

Via MM

Continue Reading

Democracy

LGs and welfare

Published

on

WITH a renewed focus on conducting local government elections, the issue of grassroots governance has bounced back into the news and policy cycles. This is reflected in the various aspects of LGs being dissected by political and civil society stakeholders, and activities — including protests by political parties — to find better and lasting ways to improve local governance.

Historically, the local bodies, first introduced during Gen Ayub’s military regime, have waxed and waned in line with the wider political schemes of state managers. It is an open secret that LGs are strategically renewed by military governments for undermining the established local political elite and manufacturing into existence a new layer of more pliable grassroots leadership. Meanwhile, elected governments and political parties too have neither looked kindly on the prospect of LGs taking root for similar fears that their locally established leadership might be challenged by new political actors.

However, irrespective of the intention behind the strategic diminishment and resurrection of LGs, the consensus across the political and academic spectrum is that local bodies are the linchpin of service delivery and the chain of political representation. Moreover, their role as connectors of higher-tier government structures and grassroots also remains unchallenged. In this respect, while many aspects of LG service delivery roles are being pored over, the role as a deliverer and administrator of social protection programmes has not been given the attention it deserves.

In Western democracies, the political governance landscape is based on local parish and councils. It is unimaginable to see them knocked out of the political representation and service delivery chain. In the UK, without local councils administrating education, social welfare systems etc, the whole edifice of a unitary state would come crumbling down. In Pakistan, however, LGs have been turned off and on like tap water, discouraging the exercise of people’s right to local representation.

With LGs, Ehsaas can have a greater reach.

The role of LGs in the administration of social welfare programmes is by now also well established in the developing world. Brazil is both associated with introducing participatory budgeting at the municipal level and the use of LGs in the administration of its famed cash transfer programme Bolsa Familia. This model has been copied in the rest of Latin and South America with municipal offices playing an ever-greater role in the roll-out and administration of similar cash transfer programmes. Brazil’s municipalities are at the front and centre in managing its social registry, carrying out a broad set of functions including identification of low-income areas, registration of beneficiaries, data collection and verification, training and outreach etc.

ALSO READ :  Back to Square One

In Colombia, LGs are responsible for processing new applications and updating existing beneficiaries’ data on a rolling basis. Each municipality signs an agreement with the national cash transfer programme, committing to specific obligations and responsibilities. Committees are also established at the municipal level to handle complaints and allegations of ineligible beneficiaries.

In Pakistan, however, the role of LGs in the roll-out and administration of cash transfer programmes has been not systemically thought through. One of the key reasons for this is the evolving and expanding nature of the Ehsaas or Benazir Income Support Programme and the uncertainty about the continuance and longevity of LGs.

However, now that LGs seem to be back in fashion, steps should be taken to make them a permanent feature of political representation and service delivery chains. Only when the LG system is allowed to put down roots and firm up its uninterrupted presence can we begin to think about ways to shoehorn social protection programmes into LG structures for ease and confidence of its beneficiaries.

As the Ehsaas programme expands, LGs can provide it with a firm foothold, acceptability and greater reach among the public. Pakistan should definitely learn from the pragmatic fusion of local bodies and social protection programmes for better service delivery and generating wider public involvement (and hence support) at local levels. Political parties also need to change course and see LGs as the permanent enhancer of representative and service delivery aspects of democratic governance rather than as competitors of established local elites. In the longer term, there is also a long-overdue requirement for conducting research into how the absence of LGs has contributed immensely to the crisis of democratic governance and falling standards of centralised service delivery that we see today.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2019-2021 ,The Monitor . All Rights Reserved .

0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x