This letter is not to support dictatorships but to state facts that even dictator like Napoleon, who violated constitution and trampled liberty, justice and human rights had the sense to realise that water air and clean environment were main ingredients for human existence. Our first dictator, probably drew inspiration from Neapolitan’s quote that “water air and cleanness are chief articles in my pharmacy,” constructed two mega dams, Mangla and Tarbela, without which, large parts of Punjab would have turned into a desert.

In contrast, our current rulers nursed and nurtured in the laboratory of another despot, now wearing garb of democracy, seem to be oblivious to the basic need of clean drinking water and clean air. This is evident from their desire to construct motorways, highways, flyovers, run metro busses, and distribute laptops for their own glorification. They are keen to catering to the need of the rich and powerful than fulfilling basic needs of poor.

Such projects not only divert badly needed funds that could have been unitised to provide clean water and health facilities. The recent havoc that the rains played in Rawalpindi is one example of such misguided priorities. One wonders what will come out of this unrealistic and superfluous wish of building huge concrete structure when entire space is covered by a thick layer of dust smoke and human waste and suffocates the lives of people?

It is time, rulers and their supporters, media, intellectuals, scholars, architects, and all others who matter in the scheme of things to think seriously for a comprehensive solution to avoid tragedies like heat waves, cold spells, and floods.

RAJA SHAFAATULLAH,

Islamabad, July 8.