(Lahore, June 19, 2010) A pall of gloom and morbidity has enshrouded Punjab since the return of the Sharifs in 2008.The alarming rise of suicide incidents in Punjab is the direct result of the province’s economic ruin brought about by Sharif “mal-administration” in the last two and a half years. How can the poor and the jobless survive when the budgeted personal daily expenses of the self-proclaimed “Khadim –e- Aala” are well over Rs.7 lacs? Sasti-roti drama has created further hunger and deprivation in the society. These views were expressed by Moonis Elahi, central leader of Pakistan Muslim League, during a meeting with members of PML Human Rights Wing in Lahore today.
The meeting was summoned to discuss the implications of the rising number of suicides in Punjab and to explore ways for the eradication of the causes leading to this unfortunate development. Commenting on the issue, Moonis Elahi strongly criticized the rulers and held them solely responsible for the unfortunate trend. He said that Punjab was the hardest hit and the highest number of suicide incidents had been reported in Punjab in the last six months. Moonis Elahi blamed Shahbaz government for the rising pessimism in the masses forcing some of them to take their own lives.
He said that N League had made false promises with the people at election time and in the last two and half years they had given them nothing except poverty, unemployment, inflation, crimes and now suicides. The present system of governance in Punjab is based on the whims and caprices of one man which had also seriously weakened the relationship between the citizen and the state, Moonis observed.
He said that in Punjab under the coercive Sharif regime citizens’ rights were being usurped, nepotism and jobbery were the order of the day and provincial resources were being squandered on poorly planned and counter-productive schemes. Criticising the roti scheme, Moonis said that N League’s government instead of launching the much needed poverty reduction initiatives had so far only come up with poverty production schemes like the roti scheme. They have not paid a paisa of Zakat fund to the needy and it is evident that they want the proud people of Punjab to hold a begging bowl instead of hammer, chisel or pen, he alleged. He stated that these factors compounded with the self-proclaimed Khadim-e-Ala’s incapacity to understand the gravity of the situation had resulted in wide spread depression and dismay in the fast growing numbers of poor and jobless of the province.
He said that the present situation had made the poor and the weak highly vulnerable and prone to take extreme steps including self-annihilation. He warned of a further worsening of the situation if the rulers did not wake up from their slumber and started undoing the extremely adverse effects of their own follies.