A country, like Pakistan, which is on verge of economic crisis, facing a galloping inflation and a budget deficit cannot afford extended shutdowns for days to observe religious festivities, mourning death of politicians, or on other irrelevant excuses. Malaysia is a Muslim majority country, which during past three decades has progressed from an under developed nation to a major financial centre in Far East, through sheer hard work and a leadership which focused on developing human resources by investment on education and health. Law and order is strictly maintained and no individual, however powerful can get away with a crime or even a minor violation of law. This Eid ul Fitr occurred on Sunday 19 August in Malaysia. There was only one official holiday for Eid and since it occurred on Sunday, all government offices, banks, airline offices etc opened on Monday for business as usual. The only exception was PIA office which was closed and so was Pakistan embassy. Unfortunately Pakistanis try to emulate the lives of oil rich Arab countries, observing extended religious holidays.

Malaysian Muslims are more devout than in Pakistan, yet there has never been a sectarian strife in this country. In utter disregard of the Quaid’s vision, Pakistan has degenerated to a country addicted to holidays, corruption, nepotism and poor governance. The foremost to set this pace of deterioration are corrupt paid civil servants, followed by khakis, politicians and private entrepreneurs, who have made a mockery and excuse for declaring holidays, totally oblivious to the negative impact on our GDP, which is at its worst. Just imagine that the President declared a public holiday to mourn the death of his mother-in-law who died in isolation in Dubai. In the past there have been other inexcusable decisions to declare holidays such as Pakistan winning a cricket match against India during Zia’s tenure. A politician in exile is murdered in London and Karachi is shut down for days and over 50 innocent citizens killed in cold blooded target killings. Instead of a democratic system of government, what we have is a cult like system, where political parties are headed by families as if they were an ancestral property to be passed on as an inheritance.

MIR TASSADAQ,

Lahore, August 23.