Cruelty @ Pakistan Post
December 19, 2023
The NOTA option
December 30, 2023

25 December, 2023

I am sad.

Jinnah writes to the Prime Minister.

Dear Mr. Prime Minister,
Please accept my warmest greetings, peace and joy on a day commemorated around the globe to mark the birth of Jesus Christ.
واز تن بی جان به مسیحا درود ~ غالب
It was gracious of you to house me in this huge, majestic marble mausoleum, spread over 70 acres, of which I utilize only 18 square feet. I am sad that its making, maintenance and management is a burden on the poor people of Pakistan. I would have been perfectly happy and at peace in a modest grave. To quote Christina Rossetti, “with no roses at my head, nor shady cypress trees: Just the green grass above me, with showers and dewdrops wet.”
I am sad that there are a large number of official delegations who visit me on this day, arriving in expensive government cars, using official fuel, all at the taxpayers’ expense. They arrive less out of respect and more out of a bureaucratic ritual, that also provides them extra benefits of self-publicity and media coverage. I am sad that while they solemnly stand at my grave, they do not even for a moment recall the plight of millions of sanitation workers, security guards, railway coolies and coal miners, who are victims of wage theft and exploitation by these very individuals. I am sad that even the flower wreaths they lay on my grave have been paid from the state exchequer.
Dear Prime Minister, a nation is known by how it treats its ordinary citizens – especially those who are weak and vulnerable. I am sad that Pakistan is racing in the opposite direction – enriching its rich and impoverishing its poor. I am sad when I see the streets of Karachi being swept by 15-year-old children who ought to be in schools instead of streets. I am sad when I see the sanitation workers being paid Rs15,000 while your own law requires them to be paid Rs32,000 per month. I am sad when I see the private security guards getting Rs25,000 for performing 12 hour duty instead of Rs66580, as defined by your own minimum wage law. I am sad to see railway coolies being deprived of one third of their daily earning by railway-sponsored cruel contractors, and I am deeply saddened to see our young men dying every day in dark, dangerous, unsafe and unsupervised coal mines.

Can I ask you to please slash the salary and perks of your pampered class and give at least the minimum wage and dignity to the poor. Please stop all ceremonies and homage at state expense. Please do not make me suffer the agony of receiving those who arrive at my grave, treading on the crushed shoulders of hungry, deprived, and impoverished citizens of Pakistan.