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Saturday, May 28, 2011

No Foreign Aid For Punjab, Ok Janab

So we have no dearth of laughable news at the expense of our political leaders. Latest came from the "Khadim e Aala", Janab Wazeer e Aaala, Shahbaz Sharif. Mr. Sharif made some quick headlines, by saying no to "faarun aid in Punjab."

I know after the Abbottabad operation, our honor, that was in deep slumber has woken up. As I said in one of my previous posts on another forum, any time it involves a "gora", we suddenly wake up. Our pains of the past and the narratives fed by our "muashrati uloom", textbooks give us the sudden surge of honor. We perceive the "Caucasians" as our villain number one, thanks to our media, Lollywood movies and the "half baked truths."

I posed the same question, when Raymond Davis saga happened. I will repeat the same question by altering the scenario a little bit. Suppose a couple of weeks back in Abbottabad, these were not American choppers, and if these were just Saudi choppers, coming in and getting rid of their former citizen. Will our "Ghairat Brigade", be out chest thumping and crying foul on a "faarun incursion." Truth is that we would have done the job for them ourselves. But even if push comes to shove, we would have dismissed everything by saying, "our brotherly nation has the right to seek justice from someone who is a fugitive."

So as the spin doctors are busy trying to rally up bunch of hypocritical honor again "faarun Umreeka", they would be working the entire opposite, in case of "faarun" yet "brotherly Saudi Arabia." In the wake of all this, of course, for the sake of rhetoric, "faarun dictation" and "faarun aid" are a no no. But one has to ask the honorable Chief Minister, what about "faarun ilaaj." Why go for a check up, treatment and surgeries to these "faarun countries." Sir, how about the "faarun exiles" and above all "faarun cars" that we love so much in our beloved country.

Shun everything "faarun", as it reminds us of the "faarun East India company walas", who came in for trade and did a "Raymond Davis" on us. Our so "righteous and honest", forefathers were fooled by these guys and the rest is all so crystal clear in our books. No narrative about our shortcomings and lack of control. Conspiracies of "evil angrez" is what you would typically find in our books, add more that we churn every day on our own and now you know, what our biggest crop is. If some one said wheat or cotton, they ought to quickly replace it with "conspiracies."

It is even more bemusing to read our Urdu headlines, where headlines say, "Shahbaz Sharif says no to kushkol." Hmm. Last I heard, the province of Punjab was still part of the federation. The federation has a Foreign Minister and a Finance Minister. The aid given to the country of course is for the entire country for a certain purpose. Technically, it is not a charity. It has certain objectives, or conditions attached to it.

In a broader perspective, it is a plan of development. The critics and cynics who view the aid as a "begging bowl", should really re examine their stance. It is a temporary help, to put us back on our feet. The idea is to have our folks chart out the course, so we no longer need these crutches. It is not the fault of donor nations, that we are unable to come up with a tangible and realistic plan, which would take us to complete recovery.

When the aid trickles in, it is on a national level. Of course one would hope that, there is some mechanism of appropriation between the provinces. If the provincial government, decides to pass on the aid, it must have a sound economic plan to replace it with domestic resources. The sound bites seem catchy and interesting, make good headlines, but in reality don't mean much.

Honorable Chief Minister Sahib, did touch on a couple of items, like creating jobs and investments. Sounds good and promising, but how do you attract long term business and investment from all over the world? Even a novice of a person like me knows that you want the domestic and foreign investments increased exponentially, to get the desired returns.

What it boils down to is conducive economic environment. How do you create that, when political instability and terrorism are the major barriers, preventing the people from the outside to increase their stakes in our motherland. Mian Sahib Junior, is an astute politician and a seasoned businessman himself. He knows that in order to boost the economic activities, these impediments have to be tackled head on.

The so called, "America's war" is actually the war to put our country back to prosperity and ever lasting peace. A progressive, prosperous and developed Pakistan will be in the interest of the entire world. When tourism would replace the infamous terrorism. Self dependence is well and good, but it cannot happen in a self created imaginary world. We live in a global village and its high time that we become inclusive and create our positive niche within this shrinking world.
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