While the ruling elite are seen day in and day out busy with the much–publicized Sindh Festival to promote soft image of the country the reality depicts a depressing picture of the state of affairs in the entire province. Unfortunately, thieves, thugs, and crooks rule the roost. Taxpayers’ money continues to be siphoned into pockets of politicians and their comrades in private business though suspicious projects and so on and so forth and corrupt activities.

The public-private partnerships which were intended to improve the provision of services and reduce the cost of delivery, have morphed into noxious and corrupt relationships, which compromise service delivery and increase the financial burden on the province. The winners in all this are not the poor people who have no access to decent roads, water, sanitation, education and jobs, but unscrupulous elements and thugs who occupy powerful government positions and their private-sector cronies.

Believe me, there is no law and order there is only crime and corruption. Combating corrupt activities in the public and private sector organizations receives extended lip-service but nothing is being done in reality. Indeed, we have corruption-busting organizations but it appears as if we have gone fishing with a defective net. Prosecution of corruption activities is not visible anywhere in the province. Small fish and high-profile individuals who have fallen out of favour with a clique of ruling crooks. High-profile corrupt relationships continue to prosper and exist on the periphery of the prosecutorial radar. It is not as if law-enforcement agencies are unaware of some of these criminal activities but the need to appease the principals and even protect them from prosecution appears to supersede enforcement of the law.

The ruling elite is doing nothing to uplift the poor people in the rural areas, but an unlawful and unethical investment on the political establishment to secure present and future economic benefits goes on. Indeed, celebrating the culture and heritage is a noble vision and mission but something practical and pragmatic should also be done to change the fate of these deprived and denied people of the province. Protecting people and their property from thieves, thugs, dacoits who are in action in the upper and lower regions of the province is also a noble mission and cause like that of Sindh Festival which someone should take up!.

HASHIM ABRO,

Islamabad, February 8.