The day Pakistan tested and fired the Shaheen-III ballistic missile, capable to carry nuclear and conventional warheads to a range of 2750 km; another news item caught my attention. 41 million people in Pakistan have no access to toilets and have to defecate in open spaces. In India, more than 630 million people face the same agony, no closed toilets. As both countries take pride in showing off their nuclear arsenal; I wonder what is and should be their priority? As per the infographic created by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists; Pakistan has 120 nuclear weapons, while its arch rival, India, is not far behind with 110 such weapons.

Why is it that the people who vote for these rulers are the ones to suffer without any hope of improvement? It doesn’t matter if it’s BJP, Congress, Peoples Party, Muslim League, or the Army (in Pakistan’ perspective) at the helm of affairs, the end result remains the same, both the general public and its rulers live in separate worlds. What sort of harms and diseases are associated with public defecating need no elaboration.

What should be our priorities, increasing the stockpiles of already overflowing nuclear and conventional weapons and keep spending billions on motor ways, or shall we providing health care, education, clean water, sanitation, food security, law and order? As in personal life rulers don’t have to worry about these ‘poor-public’ type issues, therefore, they enjoy doing big things which can make headlines. Who says democracy is by the people, for the people?


Saudi Arab, March 11.