a Beggar State
This morning I happened to be at the Islamabad
airport to receive a guest coming from abroad. As
the Dubai flight landed and passengers started alighting I could
see only foreigners stepping out of the arrival lounge, some
visibly haughty and arrogant, to be received by meek and humble reception
card waving local
staff of Serena and Marriot hotels. Most of the reception
placards had words inscribed like 'ABC charity' 'Catholic
trust', 'XYZ aid', etc etc.
I was wondering that if these people had come to
help the flood victims why were they staying in the city's most
expensive hotels where per night charges are around Rs 20000/-
the total amount government is proudly announcing to give each
shattered family. Why this dichotomy? Why this injustice?
Why should the money granted for the use of the flood beaten
people be spent on the luxurious jaunts of foreign consultants.
Are our people not capable of handling the (alms) money ?
I think because of our beggar status, those
countries giving us aid want bulk of it to be spent on their own
nationals who come as consultants etc. I wish we could reject
foreign aid and stand on our own feet alongside the flood
affectees, even if that meant President Zardari, PM Gilani,
Nawaz Sharif and other tall talking leaders living on a single meal a day and traveling
in local made suzuki cars. --Feroze Ali
Shah, Islamabad,16 Sept 10