Written by Ch Faisal Mahmood
As we wrote earlier that this summer we shall not forget; we should not forget. Not because it had the free fun which the civil society in Europe generally associates with the Season, but because of the unrelenting heat which the weather gods threw down upon Pakistan. The mercury is going high to a dangerous level.
2 years before the heat terror first hit the pilgrims at Sehwan Shareef during the annual URS of Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar. As if that was not bad enough, damaging the image of our cultural events, no lessons were learnt by our administrators who did not need to be reminded that the Season was still on! The heat then descended upon Karachi, the administrative capital of Sindh and the industrial and financial capital of Pakistan. Many precious lives were lost to sunstroke and dehydration. Some because of the sun but most because of administrative incompetence, carelessness and undue consideration to foreign investors.
At Sehwan the unfortunate count was 19 in three days; in Karachi the count in three days was about 2000.This year again 5 people died at Sehwan with heat and suffocation.
Why complain against the weather gods? They would only turn around and remind us of the environmental degradation which Man has relentlessly brought upon the Universal Balance on which Nature moved from week to week, month to month, year to year, decades after decades.
Simplification of the myriad facts show that the problem was non availability of water and water was not available because electricity was not available to pump the water. Absence of electricity paralyzed the hospitals where breathing patients were brought in only to breathe their last.
This is not the first time we have to dwell on the supplier of electricity presently in the hands of foreigners who have left no doubt about their callousness and imperious disdain of the community.
The lesson is that essential services should not be privatized and most certainly not to foreigners. What is the crucial element of any business enterprise? Customers! Essential services have built-in and captive customers; the profit is assured and foreign owners have more facilities and status than our own entrepreneurs.
Time and again voices have been raised against this supply corporation; and other departments there have been democratically articulated demands for it to revert to the State. Last year that demand was very loud & clear. Though this department is trying to improve its infrastructure and line losses and the news is that impact of CPEC might be felt even in this department also but till today it is for from the position of satisfactory performance.