The System

9 Sep

It is no longer about a young boy who was murdered in cold blood by a feudal brat, who bought justice favourable to him. The story is not of Shahzeb and Shahrukh Jatoi – just take a look at the bigger picture. The elite in Pakistan keep making the big bucks and it is no secret how their money ensures they are above the law. I had a friend last year who ran over a poor, little boy on Seventh Avenue. He had called me crying, genuinely distraught and devastated by what had happened. He was under the influence of alcohol when he rushed the boy to the hospital, paid for his treatments – the boy did not survive. My friend, who I haven’t spoken to in over a year had told me his life had changed forever – that a human life had been lost and he would never drink and drive again. He was on the roads drinking and driving in under a month. Its not just him – I can name a hundred boys in Islamabad alone who simply do not care and engage in this crime as matter of habit. They don’t care because they don’t realize it could be them. They don’t care because they’re blinded by their money and power. They just don’t care because its always the common man who is affected. There are a hundred Shahrukh Jatois who get away with murder, petty crimes, bribery and so forth. They get away with it not because of anything other than the system in our country. It is a system that is designed to keep the rich above the law – their interests protected, their money multiplying. The system ensures that inequality is so deeply embedded in our society that from the minute a child is born into a poor family, he will never have the same access to opportunities as a child born into a family that’s well-off.

The education system is the first aspect to examine. There are private and public schools throughout the world – the difference between, let’s say, Canada and Pakistan is that the quality of education provided in both does not and cannot fall below a decent standard. Our public schools are shameful, not only because staff has no proper training (not that it matters since they rarely show up or stick to a curriculum) but because there is a disgusting difference between what a girl in a Model’s Girl College is taught and what I was taught at Headstart School. And the sad part is that the children who go to these schools are, on the whole, more dedicated, hard working and thirsty for knowledge, unlike us private schoolers who took everything for granted. From the minute a child is placed in a public school in Pakistan, the inequality becomes manifest. I know for a fact that students in public schools in Pakistan, if groomed the way my school groomed me, would run circles around me and I just wouldn’t be able to catch up. I just had the opportunity – the elite just has the opportunity – and honestly, most of us don’t even deserve it half as much as the kids I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with from public schools. Having identified problem number one, you realize there’s a very simple solution: allocate just a little bit more to the education budget, set a general basic curriculum for all public and private schools so that the minimum standard is decent, ensure teachers are given proper training workshops and salaries, monitor staff attendance. Additionally, it is not unheard of that the government subsidize textbooks so that parents who can’t make ends meet can make sure their children at least have the opportunity to build a future. Not impossible.

Moving on… health – the rich can afford it, the poor just die. Basic medical awareness is non-existent – people in Pakistan still die due to diarrhoea, a large proportion refuses to get vaccinations against Polio. Why? Because there hasn’t been even a half-hearted effort by the State to educate people on the fact that polio drops do not prevent fertility. Polio can potentially destroy the future of upcoming generations, crippling leaders of tomorrow but no, the Mullah fills the vacuum of power left by state absence when it comes to providing basic medical information to the poor. The cost of medicine and treatments is ridiculous – those who cannot afford them are doomed to die. The poor die because the rich can afford healthcare for illnesses, basic to serious.

In addition to all this, we have a judicial system that runs on big money. I can run a poor man over today and pay his family diyat  – end of story. And God forbid if someone say one word criticizing the system, because apparently criticizing the dismal criminal justice system means you’re attacking Islam. The poor will always be tempted by settling for blood money – as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, we believe in ensuring room in our legal system for the concept of blood money not realizing that justice and equality are crucial principles in Islam, as is fair play. When a family of 10 can’t eat one slice of bread a day and have just lost their sole breadwinner, do you seriously think they wont accept a huge chunk of money? Its desperation – its the system. From day one, its the system that teaches the poor they do not have the same rights as us. They turn to religion for comfort – the religion is being manipulated by the Mullah who is being allowed a free-hand by a State that only cares about big money. Think hard – it is the system that must change.  

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7 Responses to “The System”

  1. fareed September 9, 2013 at 9:45 pm #

    Jab har pakistani Imaan ki tarha soche ga tab sahi tabdeeli aay gi.

  2. Abdul Naveed September 9, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

    Brillent written .we must change the system.I am so proud that at least one youngster (youself) changed.inshall allah rest of the new genration will change

  3. Humza September 10, 2013 at 5:20 am #

    A very thought-provoking article indeed.
    It’s sad to see how the system is designed to be easily manipulated by the ruling elite, inequality deep-rooted in our society everywhere.

  4. i khan September 10, 2013 at 9:05 am #

    i share with a lot of what you say but its not really that black and white.the rich are bad and poor good.sadly in a very high majority the core of pakistani people have become blind and bad whether rich or poor.you talk about education in public schools is dire.true but from personal experiance most of the teachers who teach in these schools are local.nobody says anything to them.if my child was taught badly i would speak to the teacher but in these schools its not the done thing.its ignored because in most cases the teachers are related to some of the students.here i am talking about the schools in the villages mainly.
    pti was well supported in cities where the educated and well off realise that change is needed.after all you are of the priveleged class but you have a constiance.there are many like you .N leagues biggest supporters were from the lower working class.they are quite happy in that world it seems.
    for pakistan to change we need a radical revolution where honest leaders,judiciary and media works together.until then allah khair.in case of shahrukh jatoi was he safer in prison?i wonder and time will tell.

  5. umergill September 15, 2013 at 9:50 am #

    Reblogged this on Umer Gill.

  6. Abdul Rehman Mir December 28, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

    Really inspired by your plan and strategies and eloquent writing.

  7. Aamir Abbas May 28, 2014 at 7:56 pm #

    Your way of writting … I just love it . ❤️.keep writting please .

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