It is an interesting global phenomenon that government officials of developed and wealthy countries lead an extremely simple life. This is in total contrast to the extravagant rulers of our poor and impoverished country who have become an unnecessary burden on our national economy. Members of our ruling elite have been transformed into fierce leeches that are eager to suck even the last drop of blood left in common man.
Majority of population is deprived of basic human necessities like medical care and education while the expenses on even the pets of this tiny elite are astonishing. Our present rulers are fond of keeping best breeds of different animals. Lately, a couple of dogs worth 2.4 million rupees have been bought by them. More than thirty two public officials are appointed on the protection of these pet animals. These are the preferences and interests of the rulers of a country whose two-third population lives below poverty line (Six thousand rupees per month).
According to a latest report, 327 Pakistani Parliamentarians consumed medicines of more than two hundred and ten million rupees during the last eighteen months. One hundred and eight members were given payments of one to two million rupees. Many members claimed medicines for their families as well as for their personal drivers and servants. Members of the Punjab Assembly withdrew fifty million rupees for their medical expenses. Larger portion of this expense occurred on women elected on reserved seats. Various assembly members received governmental medical funds for their family members suffering from diseases like blood sugar, high blood pressure, level, intestine, cancer, jaundice, etc.
On the other side, majority of the population lacks access to basic health facilities. Overall conditions of government hospitals reveal that a large portion of the tiny budget allocated for public welfare is lost due to corruption and irregularities. Although, the amount of taxation is continuously increased with every passing year but national and international medical facilities of satisfactory standards are only available to a particular elite class. This elite class is also involved in all sorts of illegal activities including tax evasion, money laundering, exploitation of working classes, etc.
Pakistan’s ministry of finance spends one hundred and fifty million rupees on annual sessions of World Bank and IMF. It is accompanied by the lavish and luxurious visits of our government officials to America, Europe and other countries which cost hundreds of millions of rupees to the tax payers. Our current prime minister has so far spent four hundred million rupees on his foreign visits. Our so-called cost-efficient government has allocated 842 million rupees for Prime Minister Secretariat, 1,700 million rupees for his foreign visits and an increase of 400 million rupees for the parliament representing poor people of Pakistan. Expenditures for representatives of National Assembly and Senate are more than three billion rupees. These exuberant parliamentarians have no concern for the working classes and underprivileged portions of society that have no excess to basic human necessities and are fighting for their survival on daily basis. Callousness and irresponsible behavior of our ruling elite reached its ultimate level when hundreds of children died in Tharparkar (Sindh) due to shortage of water and food. What can be more ironic than the harsh reality that there is famine and acute shortage of water in one portion of country while the other portion of country is destroyed by floods in rainy season on annual basis? This gives a hint of how natural resources are wasted in the country and how interest of common man is nowhere on the priority list of our government and bureaucratic officials. Recently, more than twelve hundred people died within few days in Karachi due to shortage of water, shelter from extreme heat and medical facilities in public hospitals.
Whole country is plagued with poverty, misery and despair. Life of a common man has lost all its attraction and integrity. But our rulers are so arrogant and self-centered that instead of solving real problems of society such as unemployment, access to basic necessities and energy crisis, they are busy in making their commissions through extremely expensive and unfeasible projects for their personal show-off. All their efforts are centered on extension of their business empires and expansion of their personal fortunes. Shah Waliullah described similar attributes of Roman and Persian emperors in the following words:
“Unfortunately, the affluent and ruling elite were infected with the disease of extravagant spending, showing-off, and love for authority and to impose their superiority over others. The situation was so pathetic that there were competitions among the rulers about whose throne is more expensive and is decorated with greater number of jewels. Such lavish lifestyle of government officials spoiled the collective mindset of society. In order to meet the superficial standards and requirements of elite environment, every influential person started to exploit his subordinates. Feudal lords started to suck the blood of their farmers and those who had authority over laborers plundered their hardships. Now, all the mental and practical abilities of this ruling class began to be consumed for their luxurious lifestyle, excessive profit earning and exploitation of the weak portions of society instead of working for the progress and betterment of the country. Moreover, moral standards of the subordinate classes also touched the bottom low since all of their lives were spent to ensure their physical survival. Their lives were no better than those of animals. They had no time and resources for their moral and spiritual up gradation. New laws and techniques were introduced to plunder and accumulate wealth and resources into few hands.”
Present situation of our country has extraordinary similarities with the societies of Rome and Persia of the sixth century. This demands a collective effort from the conscientious portion of our society on a similar pattern to the one adopted by our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his companions (Allah pleased with them) to eradicate injustice and oppression from human societies.