15th January 2008

I saw serious power shortages in the early 1950s, and I see the same thing now. At least, when I was a kid, there was no need for airconditioners. In fact, we didn’t even have fans, the ceilings were very high, the windows very wide, and the air was smoke-free.

Now, when you can’t even live without airconditioners, there are power outages lasting for hours. Work comes to a standstill whenever the power supply is disrupted, sometimes many times during the day, and there is no one to ask those responsible why it happens. Sometimes there is too little water in the dams, sometimes it’s due to a millimeter of rain, and often it happens because the power lines are more than fifty years old and have never been replaced.

They say that when “goras” ruled India, the situation was very good, no one dared to break the law. They even hanged Pir Pagara and no one protested. Although I’m against capital punishment (mainly because the wrong people get hanged), I think people would be less corrupt if the government started hanging corrupt people. Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore had to hang just one minister, and his country changed into a model for the rest of the world to follow. Even today, if you spit in Singapore, you can be fined something like twenty thousand rupees. That is what we should have in Pakistan. And this can never happen unless you have absolutely honest leaders.
But the problem is, where will you find them?