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Pakistan’s Social Contract: Rhetoric vs Reality

We often see our so-called political leaders making tall claims: elites proclaiming that Pakistan is – or was meant to be – a welfare state. But as far as the underprivileged working classes are concerned, they have yet not been acknowledged as deserving a place under that much proclaimed one-umbrella state.

A welfare states guarantees not to compromise national integrity and faithfulness to the public just for the sake of a few powerful elites. In practice, unfortunately, the Pakistani state has deplorably failed to live up to the characteristics of a welfare state.

The latest – but sadly all too familiar – episode of land grabbing by the Bahria Town administration has once again showed how much regard the powerful economic and political elites of this country have for the impoverished masses: inflicting upon them sleepless nights, restless days and callous eviction.

It is awful to witness that yet again the police force is seen working to clear these places and evacuating the public from their homes. Several villages are due to be extirpated including Abdullah Goth, Dad Karim, Noor Muhammad Gabol Goth and other villages.

Moreover, what I perceive and what every individual poor and middle-class person knows is that Pakistan’s image has ruthlessly been distorted by these very tactics of land mafias. It is a matter of grave concern, and yet official and governmental apathy should not surprise us, given past experience and the harsh realities of the present.

Very sadly, the Sindh government is seen to have already abdicated its responsibilities to the public. I, therefore, urge the federal government and relevant authorities to intervene in the matter and confer poor citizens their snatched constitutional rights back from the powerful capitalists.

Last but not least, I would like to remind Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Arif Alvi that in the “State of Madinah” which they speak of so often, people were wholly assured of their legal rights and dignity.

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Naya Daur