The right to refuse
Begging, as a profession could well compete with many others considered oldest on the list, with very similar characteristics. The first clink of coins falling in the begging bowl takes away one’s self esteem and any left over reluctance for all times to come. From here on, there is no looking back. One ceases to utilise one’s own faculties and gets hooked on to the life of easy money. More creative and unscrupulous begging techniques are devised to draw greater sympathy from the charity giver. Interestingly, few beggars have ever become rich or said good bye to beggary. It is a an addiction that even psychiatrists find difficult to deal with. Cold turkey is often the only solution.
Sixty years of begging and borrowing have reduced Pakistan to an addicted state whose claim to fame is its own self acquired helplessness. It has said good bye to its own faculties, conscience and self respect. It is willing to find a million excuses to beg , but is not willing to take a single action to reform itself. It is not willing to save billions that it looses every year on its mismanaged state-run organisations like PIA, Steel mill or Railway. It is not willing to save on its army of ministers, whose only job is to roam around in Prados sponsored by the tax payer or foreign aid. It is not willing to save on its leaders eternally performing ‘umrahs’ or doing family junkets in foreign lands. It is not willing to save on its hundreds of bullet proof cars that are imported for its worthless leaders. It is not willing to save on pointless UN investigations that must be done by its own people. It is not willing to save on millions that it spends every few days on newspaper and TV ads to compliment each other for doing nothing. Its rulers, (both in power and not in power) are not willing to bring back their own ill gotten wealth from foreign countries. It is not even willing to save on endless mausoleums and water fountains that massage the ego of the leaders but not the needs of the ordinary people.
The Kerry Lugar Bill is an American law passed by the American law makers. It is only applicable to those territories that fall under the US constitution. Pakistan has nothing to do with this humiliating law , its language or its conditionalities. They become applicable to us only if we volunteer to accept the dole. Except for any suicidal inclinations, Pakistan has no reason to accept this aid. The right to pass any law belongs to US, but the right to refuse any aid belongs to Pakistan. This cold turkey treatment could give the much needed hope, confidence and resolve to the people of Pakistan.
October 16, 2009