Mina Malik-Hussain in her column ‘Railway Days’ talks of the good old days of the Railways when trains came on time and officials tramped across the country inspecting railway tracks, when standards were high and applied to everyone. She narrates an incident about an inspection tour of her grandfather who was in the railways, and found a station master with an unbuttoned collar. The man was fired on the spot, but later on left off with a stern reprimand. Now let us fast forward to the early seventies. The chances are that not the station master, but Mina’s grandfather would have been given a stern reprimand, because this was the ‘Bhutto era’ when the workers unions were made so powerful that the officers had become defensive.

I am talking from personal experience, having supervised workers, both before and during the Bhutto era. Not to mention the employment of thousands of ghost workers, who got paid without even appearing to work. It is not difficult to guess which party these workers belonged to. It will be a miracle if railways are put back on track. If we were to hire consultants to tell us how to destroy Pakistan, they would tell us to do exactly what Bhutto did – destroy discipline, destroy industry, destroy education and the country will self-destruct.


Lahore, June 9.