LAHORE – The ‘bomb’ of the exorbitant Fuel Adjustment Charge on electricity bill has been dropped on the poor with a big bang. On the other side, the majority of the political parties are literally deaf to the cries of the people.

The government has made the consumers to bear the burden of fuel adjustment to the tune of Rs 6.39 per unit over and above the actual charges so that it could make good the losses it had incurred from October to January for various reasons neither known to the masses nor happened on their account. The same levy was enforced in October last which the government was forced to withdraw under a forceful public pressure and an order of the Court while the political parties were had hardly any role therein.

The lukewarm interest of the main political parties towards the public woes and their mere lip service and statements and disinterest to come up with any practical step to allay their sufferings, reveal not only the fact how much they give priority to the ordinary people but also their sham drum beating for democracy and rights of the democrats when their own interests and expediencies matter. With exception to a protest call given by the PTI, no other political parties on the opposite side of government has so far, brought in any programme to join voice with the masses to compel the ruler to recall the fuel surcharge as well as to preclude other jolts-in-wait in the form of further hike in petroleum prices which stands for the noose more tightened around the neck of the poor. The current raise in electricity rate means, the poor have to face more financial difficulties and be driven to a pressing situation wherein financial constraints may force them an extreme act from crime to kill themselves.

It happened on in 2009 when political parties had joined hand to the extent of giving call of a civil boycott against the rise in petroleum prices which however, were reversed when the SC took suo notice but put in place by the government after some months. At that time MQM stood conspicuous and this time round the show of same spirit is awaited from it by the common men for whom this party holds high claims.

In the civilized world, rights of the masses are given precedent over any other. Before taking a measure to burden the masses under one head, the governments there beforehand provide cushion to the masses through another.

Not only European but even our neighbouring countries have set examples when ministers resigned for failing to look after interest of the masses whether relating to their traveling through the rail, tax or raise in prices. In Pakistan neither the rulers arranged things in this way to the relief of common men nor the Opposition forced it care for their rights despite the fact we have more than 50 per cent people living below the poverty line, means they earn less

than a dollar a day, while 45 others of middle and lower middle class are hardly making the both ends meet.

Can the politicians on the side of both divide feel agony of a poor man when he has left only with scratches to sustain his family after discharging the liability of electricity and other utility bills from his salaries? How can the politicians do it when they have every facilities at their disposal and never tasted life of the layman. However the fact that it the common man who has to vote them to power is well ingrained in the mind of the politicians. At the same time they must also bear in mind that the unprecedented hardships and heavy cost of life, has revealed to the masses new facts of their miseries. And the politicians need to understand that they could be victim of wrath of the voters in the fast approaching elections if they did not change their mind towards sufferings of the masses.