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Floods came and destroyed our homes — there was little we could do, we were told. We managed to endure, and tried to move on. You pitched and showcased our misery to the world, got pledges of billions. We got nothing.

Terrorists attacked our home, ripping through concrete walls and shields of defiance, but we powered through. We survived, only just.

Electricity tariffs were raised, gas tariffs hiked, tax rates taken through the roof, but we pulled ourselves together, for Pakistan’s sake, to ensure we didn’t default on our international obligations. The IMF said this was important – we stepped up. Our pockets were emptied out, but it was okay – in the grander scheme of things, we were convinced. There was little choice, anyway. Pakistan didn’t default, but we certainly did.

We were told to keep quiet – for national security and peace – and we obliged. After all, the country came first for us. We choose words wisely now.

Our houses were regularly broken into, we were robbed, and mugged, and killed on the streets, sometimes over petty quarrels. There was little justice, after the fact and none before it. Courts didn’t have time for petty. They worked round-the-clock already.

We took our lives because we couldn’t make ends meet. Easy loans weren’t available. You hogged the borrowing.

Soaring govt borrowing: grim fiscal reality

A big part of our country was without energy, but that was also okay. They can’t afford it, it was argued.

Two out of every five of us are in poverty.

Our women were harassed on the street, and you saw to it that parents thought twice before sending their daughters to work or to study. At recreational activities too, women felt unsafe. Maybe the pandemic was better – their faces hidden, they felt more at ease out and about.

We were treated like third-class citizens in our own country, and expected to make way for vehicles with green plates and even for those without them. For ambulances, though, we hogged the way.

Roads were broken, never rebuilt, and dust blew in our faces. Breathing became difficult, and lung disease more common. Waiting times at doctors became longer, and more painful. It was okay.

Healthcare became a provincial subject. One couldn’t complain.

Our youth became disenchanted, and started looking at only slightly ‘greener’ pastures. We said that was okay. Send money back home, we put neatly. Some died in their pursuit of only a somewhat better life. We condoled, and moved on to the next tragedy.

Economy: a difficult road ahead as well

You made getting to work difficult, ensured the common man rode in what can only be described as remnants of decades-old civilisations. But that was okay, even if transporters loaded 50 instead of 20.

We rode on rooftops and clung onto side-exits to earn. Sometimes, we fell. But we got up and reached work.

It wasn’t enough for you.

Prices increased, naturally, because you couldn’t keep your spending addiction in check. You were used to a certain lifestyle. Downgrading it would have meant upheaval. After all, you spent way too much to get there.

Our pockets emptied as we raised you, raised you enough to make you rich.

This is how extravagant we were with you. Did we spoil you?

At the end of it all, we thought you would woo us, come to us, court us, and convince us to show you our thumbs-up. After all, we thought we had earned it. So we waited.

But in the last few weeks, we realised that this wasn’t happening either.

Maybe you feel that comfortable. Perhaps, you weren’t aware that you would need to woo us. Tight deadline.

Or maybe you have become indifferent enough to not care about our thumb either. Frankly, we have nothing left to offer. We are breathing, barely, but have forgotten how to live.

No worries. You can live for us all.

The article does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Business Recorder or its owners

Bilal Memon

Bilal Memon is the Head of Digital Content at Business Recorder. His Twitter handle is @bilalahmadmemon

Comments

200 characters
KU Feb 07, 2024 07:03pm
Best article yet, but will it rub the senses of ruling primates, not a bit. Such is the status of anarchy and system in our country that people suffer the insufferable.
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Walkie Feb 07, 2024 08:53pm
this made me cry for Pakistan
thumb_up Recommended (0) reply Reply
Orion Feb 07, 2024 08:55pm
Sad but largely true
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test Feb 08, 2024 12:44pm
Recall my comments on brecorder,dawn and tribune. I came to the same conclusion some 2-3 years ago. A country of elite class for the elite class which has nothing to offer to lower and middle classes.
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Faisal Amin Feb 08, 2024 07:19pm
Plight of ours and our homeland explained very well. Hope the saga doesn't continue for long else would be difficult for the citizens to manage the default condition
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