A dog in the manger
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Rawalpindi is currently plagued by a severe outbreak of dogs appearing in mangers. Mangers are for the hay that horses eat. Dogs do not eat hay. Dog frightens horse and does not eat hay. Dog goes hungry because it does not eat hay and horse goes hungry because the dog won’t let it. Everybody loses. Thus it is today as the tussle between the various factions and individuals within the PML-N and the PML-Q in Rawalpindi has produced yet another situation where the common man suffers at the hands of his elected representatives. Uplift projects in Rawalpindi have come to a grinding halt due to the ongoing confrontation between the PML-N and the PML-Q, with the former withholding development funds and the latter begging for financial support to undertake schemes and projects that are for the betterment of all – no matter who they voted for. City Nazim Raja Javed Ikhlas has said: “Uplift funds of the district worth Rs250 million have been withheld by the Punjab government and we cannot provide even municipal services to the residents properly. The general public is suffering a lot at the hands of the PML-N.” He went on to say that the provincial government was not willing to execute uplift schemes through the local government; and complained that the government was not only victimising its political rivals but was also ‘disgracing’ the general public. Similarly afflicted by political backstabbing is Rawal Town Nazim Sheikh Rashid Shafique. He said that no new initiative had been taken in the city resulting in a collapse of infrastructure due to overpopulation and an influx of outsiders to the city. Whilst he may be guilty of embroidering the truth in so saying, there is no denying the fact that the withholding of finances for purely political reasons is contributing to a deterioration of infrastructure and social-sector services.
Rawalpindi is not the only place where dogs are to be found in mangers, they are seemingly everywhere in these confused political days. Somehow our politicians have never matured beyond infancy, banging their toys around the playpen and flinging their rattle into the corner in a tantrum as expressions of their infantile rivalries. There is no thought of cooperative practice and each tries to undo the work of his rival or predecessor. Projects that have flourished under one administration wither under the next. Roads are half-completed, there are bridges that end in mid-air, suspended until the dog gets out of the manger and lets the horse – or in this case the common man – cross them. There is an old political adage… “Don’t vote, it only encourages them”… worth remembering the next time our pens are poised above the ballot paper. (The News)