Welfare delayed is welfare denied
Mian Saifur Rehman
No two countries of the world enjoy such intertwined relations like the ones enjoyed by China and Pakistan where litigation, controversies and political gimmickry don't come in the way.
Isn't this a strange yardstick to be applied for judging the depth and cordiality of any ties? Normally, it is said that Pak-China ties are higher than Himalayas but here we are coming across a new yardstick that these ties are far above or far higher than litigation and controversies raised by a handful of litigation-happy 'Ashraafia'.
The man behind this innovative yardstick is none other than Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, who has rightly pointed out that investment, especially FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) is litigation-shy. Businessmen and industrialists shy away from countries that are buried under the debris of litigation and controversies. And international investors in particular wind up their projects in places 'where there is litigation'. The first impression formed in the minds of foreign investors and joint venture collaborators is that a society infested with controversies is an unstable society where investment is unsafe and then the country has already suffered a lot due to rampant terrorism that created a sense of insecurity for a considerable period of time till the Operation Zarbe Azb started bearing its fruits. "But, China has chosen to continue its projects in general and the Orange Line Train project in particular despite these bottlenecks", says Shahbaz Sharif. Isn't it a manifestation of true love that the Chinese have in their hearts for the people of Pakistan, asks the provincial chief. And isn't it a love story rather than a mere arrangement of bilateral diplomatic ties? Both the questions are quite pertinent on any regional or global yardstick of inter-state and inter-society ties. Pak-China friendship is much more than a routine diplomatic relationship as it has stood the test of times (of late, according to Shahbaz Sharif, it has also stood the test of controversies).
It seems it is not some kind of a battle between mere right or wrong, good or bad but some kind of a war of egos rooted in our overall socio-political milieu that is negatively impacting our economic uplift as well.
The people who are churning out controversies have probably only one motive before them and that is denying the welfare to the ordinary masses. They are convinced that the public would ultimately be the winner as is usually the case with the societies where the public awareness is on the rise.
So, the strategy picked up by these forces of 'Ashraafia' (to quote Shahbaz Sharif according to whom 'Ashraafia' constitutes the handful of elitist people who dislike the people travelling through ordinary means of transport) is to delay the welfare, if it can't be totally denied. But 'welfare delayed is welfare denied', isn't it?