We are masters of celebration without any real occasion to do so. We celebrated the country’s inclusion in GSP Plus status, on the hope that the much needed foreign exchange would be earned from exports, while our rulers forget that Pakistan is facing the severest shortage of energy and is unable to enhance industrial production. Instead, Pakistan could export agricultural produce such as fruits and vegetables and the quickest means to send consignment of these items was through air cargo. But America has already placed restriction on direct air cargo flights and the only route available is through Europe and UAE airports. It is understood that the British and UAE government banned use of their airports to Pakistan cargo flights; other EU countries being signatories to Union’s Trade Agreement are bound to follow decision of any member country. As such Pakistan is denied the facility of Free Trade with Europe and United States, endangering its already dwindling economy. Regardless of these precarious conditions, our rulers declared Independence Day celebrations from Aug 1, till the 14, which means that they will have lights on all government buildings, in this energy starved country. Is it not ironic? I fail to understand why we must waste public money on such mindless exercises.
In addition to these absurdities our government announced three Eid holidays, as it came on a Tuesday, but the country remained closed for a full week. When a country remains shut for a week, how can it expect to increase its income and avoid dependency? Look at Germany, last year, when Merkel won the election for the third time she asked her nation on the victory day, “celebrate as much as you can, for tomorrow, we work”. Indeed there is a lesson in it for our rulers to emulate.
RAJA SHAFAATULLAH,
Islamabad, July 30.