Must Dhany Bux die every 89 days?
April 1, 2024
Extra baggage
May 17, 2024
Mr. Muhammad Aurangzeb 7 April 2024
Minister for Finance
Dear Sir,
Speaking appeasingly
Most Pakistanis welcomed your presence in the Federal Cabinet, as a rare flicker of hope amidst a multitude of orthodox, and recycled relatives. We deeply appreciate and respect the fact that you sacrificed numerous personal gains and opted to side with Pakistan.
Kindly allow me, an apolitical, unimportant, ordinary citizen, to describe the conclusions that I draw from the first great manuscript that you co-authored with the Prime Minister. Essentially, in one defining decree, you laid down the blueprint and the guiding principles of how you shall alleviate poverty and improve the devastated economic situation of Pakistan. The sentence that will continue to defy logic and be quoted as a textbook case of self-inflicted masochism for next many decades reads, – “I hereby authorise a bonus of four months salary to all government officials working in the Prime Minister’s secretariat”.
May I be permitted by the esteemed Finance Minister to ask a few fundamental questions. Perhaps the entire nation, standing “pubban paar”, also awaits some light to explain this monumental miscalculation.
1. The officials working in the Secretariat are employees of the government of Pakistan. They are governed by the same rules that are applicable to any other government employee. Their salary and bonus are not determined by the whims of a Maharaja, feudal Lord or “seth”. Respectfully, you have violated the law of Pakistan, as neither you nor the Prime Minister are authorised to arbitrarily distribute tax-payers money without the due process of equal application of law.
2. How come a distinguished and trained individual like the honourable Minister failed to appreciate that such an indiscretion can at best be described as distasteful, smacking of appeasement, and bordering on bribery. These techniques are often the instruments of the insecure, who believe in governance through personal loyalties, servants, and slaves. When will Pakistan have bureaucrats who will serve the interests of Pakistan and not be tools in the service of a particularly pampering politician?
3. May I ask if while granting a 4-salary bonus to an already pampered sub-group, did no one tell you that over 12,000 sanitation workers of SSWMB in Karachi are paid an illegal salary of Rs15600 per month? That one million security guards, including those who work at the esteemed HBL Pakistan receive less than half the legal salary due to security guards who work for 12 hours every day. And Sir, no one also mentioned the fact that 90 % workforce of Pakistan has been downgraded to 100 % indignity and deprivation by not registering them to the EOBI pension scheme.
4. The people of Pakistan have painfully looked forward, but received neither the much-awaited Messiah nor the much-needed reforms for the past 76 years. May I ask, as to what happened to making every type of income equally taxable, may it be agricultural, real estate, property, deemed value, wealth, inheritance, or pension? May I ask what happened to the endless cliches of austerity? Were they mere placebos intended to fool the cruelly crushed citizens of Pakistan? May I ask what happened to taking away all government cars, free petrol, free electricity, free club memberships, free houses, and fat salaries laden with scores of artificially manufactured allowances.?
I do not wish to be a burden on your precious time and would like to end by stating the ancient Hippocratic maxim, “First do no harm’. Would it be too much to ask you Sir, to return our dwindling hope and our declining finances by retracting your famous ‘four-salaries’ proclamation and by introducing the real (and not cosmetic) reforms needed for our survival as a sovereign state.
With warmest regards,
Naeem Sadiq