Do we really need more provinces?
By: Omair Alavi
“People’s Party Saraiki Sooba De Gi, Hazara Sooba Chahye Karachi Ko Alag Sooba Banaya Jaye…”, these are some of the slogans you either read on the walls of the metropolitans or are uttered by the politicians of the country who can do nothing except shouting at the top of their voices. Had they been good for anything but speeches, Pakistan would not be in such a mess!
My question is: Will Pakistan become a prosperous nation if it is divided into more provinces? Will the division of Punjab make things better for the rest of the country? Will the water issue as well as load-shedding of gas and electricity go away once the new provinces come into being?
No. Pakistan needs a lot of steps to better its standing in the world, and creating more provinces is not one of them. More provinces means more heads to demand a solution to the water treaty that has the rest of the provinces at loggerheads. Yes, I know that the people of Hazara as well as Bahawalpur might have a point or two, but once the division starts, it will be difficult to put an end to it.
As for the steps we need to take in order to keep the provinces together, there are many but I will discuss a few. First of all, the country needs a local government system so that people from all walks of life can elect a Nazim (mayor) who can help them in their hour of need. The Nazim would be responsible for taking care of his city, and would be sort of a representative to the provincial assembly, if the need arises.
The second thing the country needs is an electoral system that guaranteed free and fair elections so that we can select those who matter instead of those who are just rich and powerful. For that, the government will have to take a stand against feudalism and feudal lords who consider themselves the king of their land. Since that doesn’t seem to happen anywhere in the near future, we might stick to the Nazim thingy, so that those in the urban areas can at least live in peace and harmony.
Suppose we do get rid of the feudals who make life miserable for their fellow human beings, then we need to better the literacy rate of the country. Without a jump in literacy rate, we will end up electing the same old people who will only stuff their pockets and make life miserable. If we do manage to improve our literacy rate, then things will change for the better as literate people will only select whom he/she would consider sane.
And if all that happens, we might be able to live in harmony in these 4 provinces our forefathers had created for us. But it will take a lot of time as well as sincere efforts by honest politicians. Because the current ones want the division to break the vote bank of the opposition, and that has nothing to do with the well being of the people who do cast the votes. So for now, say NO to more provinces, say YES to change.