Floods, Pakistani Politics, and the Need for an Alternative

Pakistan is drowning. From the northern peripheries to Balochistan and Sindh, torrential rains have devastated the country and ripped  peoples’ lives. The poor and helpless are bearing the brunt of climate change, fueled by poor governance and unplanned growth and development in the country.

The state’s response to such natural disasters is disappointing and not up to the mark. The political parties have been hollowed out, robbed of moral values and lacking the skills to come up with better initiatives to better the lives of people.

Taunsa, a whole city, has sunk. Balochistan, the biggest province, is being cut off from other parts of the country. Houses drowned, innocent lives were wiped away, and the government representatives stood aloof, busy mudslinging at each other. The victims were handed out a bare minimum; 25,000 rps in cash.

We see a dismantled system, ravaged by corruption, dynastic politics, and nepotism. The power in the hands of a few has barred the progress of common men; jobs are fast vanishing, unemployment rampant and the country is buried under the loans of IMF whose extraneous policies have pushed the country into an unending abyss of inflation. The voice of the working classes are being muffled. They are being deprived of basic rights and civil liberties. What we are witnessing is a dystopia, devouring the world we once lived in.

The role of the media has been shameful during this crisis, and for that matter, those before it. The mainstream media of Pakistan is obsessed with the fracas of politicians while the ship of teh nation sinks. This shows the concern of those in power corridors and the self-appointed custodians of free speech.

What we need at the moment is an alternative that places alleviating miseries of the common man as the benchmark for good governance. An alternative that moves from the bottom up.

When the people on the Left talk of an alternative in Pakistani politics they mean a way out of this traditional setup that has done nothing but oppressed the people. We need a socio-economic system that re-imagines the role of state and conceptions of development and progress as serving the people, while at the same time being operated by them.

The shift towards people-oriented politics is the need of the hour.T he local and provincial bodies must be empowered to the par so that they can manage such disasters on their own. The dilapidated system need not be repaired but replaced. The mere namely democracy is trembling and needs to be turned around for the betterment of people. Let our voices echo, Government for the People!

Talha  AKhunzada studies at FCCU. He is also a member of PSC FCCU.