The precedent of a welfare state was set by Muslims and history proves it. Now many countries in the world are welfare states practicing all the laws set down by Islam for Muslim rulers and masses, but the most distressing thing is that Pakistan is not a welfare state; neither does any ruler plan on making it one! What I am going to say now many know, and the ones who don’t may find it a fairy tale.

In these welfare states, basic education is free, medical treatment is free. Opportunities for the hard working to get easy loans for higher education or setting up businesses are plenty. If a person is jobless they will get an unemployment allowance from the state until they find a job. If somebody has a problem they can visits a government department and the problem is solved in no time (without giving a bribe). If somebody has done wrong to you there are courts and justice and dispensing justice in an equal measure for the poor as well as the wealthy.

The taxes are just and equitable, the rich paying more and poor paying less. There is peace and tranquility in these countries. There is one law for everyone, be he a pauper or the prime minister. The environment is clean and healthy. The State does its best to make the life of its citizens easy and comfortable, however there are other states where the citizens are treated like slaves, worked to death, consigned to filthy environments, dark and dingy places to live in, children subjected to hard labour, while there are no opportunities for the education or health.

We in Pakistan face a corrupt and ruthless government. No one gets any justice, only the rich. No electricity in summer, no gas in winter. Where we have to buy water to drink; where the price of wheat is higher than that of cigarettes or drugs. Were the rich live like princes pampered by the state exchequer with no one to ask where the money is going? They are provided armies of servants to serve, bullet-proof cars and planes to travel, all from poor man’s taxes. When they travel, the roads are closed for hours, making the ordinary person swelter in the summer and freeze in winter, the sick may even die. All I pray for is that there should be some justice from Allah for the poor of this country.

DR ZAHEER ASGHAR KHAN,

Lahore, November 26.