Power Struggles

The government lifts the price of petrol, electricity and gas whenever it wants.

In this election, the voters put the political parties to a great test by giving them a divided mandate. Currently, no political party has enough majority to form the government alone in the federation, so ma­nipulation and pow­er-sharing contin­ue. Domestic politics seem to be subservi­ent to the whims of pow­er rather than democratic prin­ciples. No one cares about the country and its people, nor are they included in anyone’s pri­orities. The country is sinking into the mire of economic mis­ery day by day and the people are losing their lives due to ep­idemics of terrible diseases like pneumonia caused by dead­ly weather conditions and ris­ing inflation. Where should the poor go? Even, if he survives hunger, he dies of disease.

It is very sad that the people are suffering from inflation, un­employment, poverty, deadly diseases and politicians have no leisure from playing the game of throne, the axis and center of their politics is their own self, they do not care about the wel­fare of the populace, nor is the common man involved in their priorities. Therefore, whoev­er came to power, he resorted to looting, filled the houses and sent capital out, while the bur­den of heavy foreign debts has always been and will contin­ue to be placed on the common man. The government lifts the price of petrol, electricity and gas whenever it wants. Don’t they realize that an increase in energy products not only rais­es the price of petrol or gas but also increases the cost of all other necessities? Whether the poor live or die, the looters have no sense and the power shar­ers see no poor; while here is a poor person starving and dying of pneumonia.

The total number of deaths from pneumonia in Punjab this year is 393, with more than 29,000 children affected by the disease. Meanwhile, the per­formance of the government and the health department has been limited to mere word of mouth, while the non-availabil­ity of pneumonia drugs from the market is compounding the hardships of patients and their families. Contrary to the claims of caretaker government and a significant reduction in cold se­verity, the increase in pneumo­nia cases indicates poor gov­ernment management, as this disease cannot be controlled by mere preventive measures, it is also very essential to have bet­ter treatment facilities.

This caretaker government has started the construction and repair work in most of the hospitals of the province with­out understanding the ground realities and without making al­ternative arrangements, due to this, most of the departments of all the government hospitals in Lahore have been closed and the patients are suffering. The relevant authorities should not only complete the construction and renovation of the hospital as soon as possible, but also en­sure the supply of medicines for other diseases including pneu­monia at cheap rates, so that the people can get better treatment facilities yet on the contrary, the caretaker government is busy promoting its efficacy.

The problems of the common man are worsening across the country, and politicians’ pow­er struggles are far from over. Where should the poor people go? There is no room for admis­sion in hospitals, nor are medi­cations available. On the other hand, the drug mafia has de­liberately driven-up the cost of life-saving medicines. Citi­zens are missing out on medical treatment due to the incompe­tence of relevant departments, including the Drug Regulatory Authority and no one is going to ask or stop the pharmaceuti­cal companies and the drug ma­fia. However, the assets of the drug companies have reached billions and the retail medi­cal stores are also earning big money, while the poor are be­ing destroyed.

The country is currently ex­periencing its most critical pe­riod in history, with the econ­omy in shambles and the poor are dying as a result of a lack of health-care facilities, whereas mothers and children are pro­testing for the recovery of their loved ones, inflation is raging, environmental degradation and load shedding of electricity and gas have paralyzed life. In such dire circumstances, instead of solving the problems serious­ly, the society is suffering from division. There is currently a severe shortage of people who speak out on public issues. In this case, the behavior of poli­ticians and those in positions of power demonstrates that they are uninterested in public is­sues but rather greedy for pow­er. The people have clearly real­ized that democracy is the best revenge and the slogans of the elites like respect the vote are very hollow. Nothing is going to change with this leadership and their tried and tested slogans, nor will there be any change in the lives of the people, the poor were dying yesterday under the weight of the experimental pol­icies of the previous leaders and will suffer the same conse­quences in the future.

Attiya Munawer
The writer is an activist and environmentalist. She covers human rights and politico-environmental issues. She tweets @AttiyaMunawer and can be reached at attiabutt121@gmail.com

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