Note: As long as Sherry Rehman and similar elitist aunts and uncles are around, PPP seems to have no future, no hope. A few elitist shows in the name of Sindh Festival are no sufficient when innocent Sindhis continue to die in Thar due to famine and/or cold, innocent Sunni Barelvis and Shias continue to be target killed by ASWJ-SSP terrorists in Karachi, ASWJ and JuD are free to radicalize Sindhi children by opening up more madrassas and mosques, Balochs and Pashtuns continue to suffer at the hands of Saudi-backed Deobandi and Salafi-Wahabi terrorists, and the PPP govt in Sindh fails to provide timely relief and preventive measures.
Just when you think the PPP cannot plunge to lower depths of glorious incompetence, it does.
The deaths of more than a hundred kids in Thar (some say the figure may be as high as 200), is an unpardonable crime perpetrated by the Sindh officialdom. Were it not for the media, and especially the aggressive coverage by Express News, Qaim Ali Shah and his merry men and women would have kept snoring. What followed this public outrage has been nauseatingly familiar: a flurry of high-level visits to the area, the barking of executive orders and suspensions, and transfers of minions. Some lowly heads will now be chopped and meaningless inquiries ordered. Little babies will be buried and the grief of their devastated parents monetised by the government. End of the saga.
Things will not change. This sickening status quo will prevail, not because the government is short of funds, or lacking in manpower or even expertise. The status quo will prevail because the PPP mindset is out of step with the times we live in. The party is frozen in the 1970s and whatever its young leader may say, the awami party is proving itself to be a dinosaur.
The Sindh chief minister is as uninspiring as a chief minister can get. He lords over a cabinet stuffed with moustachioed feudals, who represent the worst of a terribly suppressive system. What an irony that the best people in the PPP hail from Punjab; but they got routed. The party’s worst are now ruling Sindh. And in Thar, these guys outdid themselves.
Incompetence can, perhaps, be cured. A medieval mindset cannot. The PPP feudals in Sindh just cannot fathom that the poor people of Thar do not have to die from starvation. They just cannot comprehend that crippling effects of creeping natural disasters can be combated with deft, advanced planning and swift measures. They just cannot understand that poor people — their haris — do not have to die of starvation and that this is not an acceptable natural phenomenon. No sirs, if you just step out of your monster jeeps and luxury sedans and take off those Ray-Bans you may glimpse the contours of a new age. Yes, the new age, where your old ways are nauseatingly outdated and your archaic mindset is fast going out of fashion. Yes, you Makhdooms and Sardars, yes you waderas and pompous party patriarchs, can you look the dying infant of Thar in those small, innocent eyes and see the reflections of your crimes? Are you man enough to do this?
The PPP in Sindh rides on the shoulders of these dinosaurs. The party celebrates the culture of Sindh and buries the children of Sindh. It glorifies the history of Sindh and kills the future of Sindh. It tries to reinvent its tainted and tattered image and then proceeds to commit suicide in the barren landscape of Thar. And yet again, it reminds everyone that it is simply not fit to rule.
If the party leadership has any moral courage, it would axe the chief minister for the carnage in Thar. Then it would hang its head in shame and apologise to the people of Thar.
Yeah sure, like that’s gonna happen.
And therein lies the tragedy of a party, which once meant everything, and now means almost nothing. The party could go ahead and die for all we care, but the problem is that it is dragging the people of Sindh with it. The hardy people of Sindh deserve better than to see their kids die of malnutrition because their rulers just do not care.
They do not deserve to live their lives under the stranglehold of a few landed families, which have exploited them for generations. One such family has lorded over the epic disaster in Thar. Two brothers held the position of DC and the third is the elected MPA from the area. If this isn’t a vicious and murderous stranglehold, what is?
Thar begs for justice. Thar should demand vengeance — electoral vengeance. The federal government must step in immediately and save the beleaguered people of Thar from the criminal negligence of the Pakistan Peoples Party.
Tweet this Bilawal.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 9th, 2014.