The pathetic face of Pakistan’s majority – the toiling masses that live a sub standard human life

December 6th, 2010 by Masood Sharif Khattak Leave a reply »


The true face of Pakistan’s vast majority is the face of the toiling masses who live a sub standard human life. He is not laughing. When I took this picture he was asked to laugh and he obliged just as a robot would oblige when given an electronic command. This is a poor worker in the Punjab whom the other Provinces blame for their own respective pathetic conditions.This is the face of the vast majority of the poor Punjabi rural workers. Now who does he blame for his predicament?
I have had the good fortune to travel through out the length and breadth of our beautiful country – Pakistan. Right from Baroghil Pass (Chitral) overlooking the Wakhan Salient through which flows the River Oxus in Afghanistan to the coastal belt in Sind and Balochistan. I have travelled through the Cholistan Desert, driven many times from Islamabad/Rawalpindi all the way to Karachi. There is not a place in Balochistan that I have not seen. I have had the opportunity to live and travel through all of Sindh and the Rann of Kutch. I have lived in Kashmir and that too in the Line of Control bunkers. I have interacted with people living in the border belt of Azad Kasmir and Indian Held Kashmir. From Sialkot to RahimYar Khan one has seen all the towns and cities including the entire border belt and the border towns. I have had the opportunity of travelling through the vast deserts of Sindh in Chor area and I have seen the lovely peacocks dancing in Nagarparkar (Sindh). From Parachinar to Khushalgarh in Pakhtunkhwa and from the Gomal Pass to the Baroghil Pass, the Arandu Pass and the Garam Chashmas of the heavenly Chitral. From the tribal belt and the Passes on our borders with Afghnaistan to the Khojak Pass and Chaman in Balochistan. From the vast desolate valleys of Balochistan and the rugged mountains that overlook the road from Quetta to Dera Ghazi Khan via Muslim Bagh, Loralai and Fort Munro. From Quetta to Karachi over the famous RCD Highway to Karachi. The Gadani Beaches where the world’s ships are finally broken. The beautiful and serene valleys of Swat and Kaghan with those majestic mountains. I have seen this pathetic face of the Pakistani rural worker everywhere. Only the features varied from place to place. The beaten up face of poverty was everywhere that I went.
I suddenly realised that the northern areas have sadly escaped me. I will travel there once the weather opens up. I must, even if only to see if I can or cannot find this face in the picture there also.
Now why did i say all this must be bothering who ever is reading on still. So here it is.
This picture above is not that of a Punjabi rural worker who has no means to even subsist in sub human conditions but it is the picture of all rural workers of Pakistan. This pathetic scene, this sight of a man this age working for a piece of bread must open our eyes irrespective of which Province we live in. The conditions of the poor Pakistanis is the very same in each and every Province and in every remote village of Pakistan. You will see this same weather beaten face hardened by hunger, extensive labour and unimaginable rigours of a life overshadowed by poverty.
If Pakistan has to survive it has to now bring very extensive and very fast paced progress to its rural areas in order to bring about freshness to the face you see in this picture. Every village must be lifted to have basic amenities and quality employment has to be taken to the villages and towns.
Some stuck up heads have to open up and understand that in the emancipation of this segment of Pakistan’s population now lies the very survival of Pakistan.
It is pathetic throughout Pakistan. Bravo and salutes to this segment of Pakistan who have really kept the country afloat till now. A standing ovation to these Pakistanis who now deserve Pakistan’s fullest attention. Thus far the rural areas have sacrificed immensely for the urban development of Pakistan and it is now time for the urban Pakistan to sacrifice for the uplift of rural Pakistan.

Note:- This caption with the picture in question that I posted on the facebook generated a lot of discussion which I shall want to share with the readers of this website. The link to the facebook page that contains those discussions is http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150101297586808&set=a.10150101297346808.312157.564311807
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7 Responses

  1. Mirza Ghalib says:

    Bravo, bravo. Now this was an article after my own heart. Lyrical, yet hard-hitting and prophetic.

    I fear I do not share people’s enthusiasm for Facebook so I shall not be taking part in discussion there.

    But let me say here and now to the deaf, lame and blind of our country (they are not dumb, though, because we hear them every night on our talk shows spewing out their spurious arguments): mull over what the above lines have brought to your attention so strikingly. And act, for heaven’s sake act, act NOW. Tomorrow might be too late.

  2. anjum says:

    Anjum Saqib Very touching!
    I am of the view that poor are not so badly off for they can live happier life than rich,God has also drawn a demarcation line between rich and poor to test the faith.But it is melancholic that quality of life for poor women,children and old people is abysmally substandard,deprived of living actually.We have a sufficient Zakat system which is meant to give poor a happy life but due to policies which are on substandard basis made life in general substandard.
    7 minutes ago · Like

  3. Mirza Ghalib says:

    Anjum there is a difference between being poor and being absolutely destitute, sub-standard as you put it. I fear that is the condition of the majority of our people both in rural and urban areas.

    Finding religious justification for their state is not quite to my liking. Whatever Allah’s purpose, I can’t for the life of me imagine it was to have millions of the Prophet’s Ummah slowly starve to death over time.

    As for the Zakat, it works to some extent no doubt. Had the Government also done what it was required to do, we shouldn’t have been having this exchange today, I expect.

    As it is, I often get the impression that My fellow human beings move about in a fog of indifference and care as little for the sufferings of others as though they belonged to a totally different planet.

  4. Anjum says:

    MR,I am mot advocating religion here,I only mentioned Allah’s old system to help poor ppl thousands of yrs ago when there was no technology no industry,now that we have technology and resources along with Zakat system we are still not able to fulfill basic needs of unprivileged ppl who are too many in our country.It’s a pity that we have a rich land but no living.Why we do not have a solution for poverty …?The reasons behind are corrupt leaders,lack of vision…country does not tax land lords and elites,low priority given to industrial development, limited success in exploiting natural resources which can attract multinational companies and increase employment.
    Any country’s progress depends upon what it’s government can do and what it’s people can do but here the government is playing puppet in the hands of puppet masters just to fill their own pockets and people…ahh.. they are waiting for supernatural bodies to come and save them….we are all retarded!
    I think this is a time to revolt…if not now then never.

  5. Anjum says:

    MR,I am mot advocating religion here,I only mentioned Allah’s old system to help poor ppl thousands of yrs ago when there was no technology no industry,now that we have technology and resources along with Zakat system we are still not able to fulfill basic needs of unprivileged ppl who are too many in our country.It’s a pity that we have a rich land but no living.Why we do not have a solution for poverty …?This is because we do not have sincere leaders,lack,country does not tax land lords and elites,low priority given to industrial development, limited success in exploiting natural resources which can attract multinational companies and increase employment.
    Any country’s progress depends upon what it’s government can do and what it’s people can do but here the government is playing puppet in the hands of puppet masters just to fill their own pockets and people…ahh.. they are waiting for supernatural bodies to come and save them….we are all retarded!
    I think this is a time to revolt…if not now then never.

  6. Mirza Ghalib says:

    Anjum, I quite agree with you on much of what you say this time, though I have some reservations about letting multinational companies, the real puppet masters, into our country.

    About revolt, certainly. I’m all in favour of it. But I’m not going to start it. That has to come from the masses themselves. Then and only then will I join in heart and soul. And that’s a promise.

  7. Mirza Ghalib says:

    Do you really expect a reply to your outlandish question? Sure I’m as real as you are yourself, thougn no doubt not to be found in the same area of political thought. Come and join us in our particular corner and you will see how luminous the world grows.

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