Is Pakistan your heaven or hell?

The construction of the Rs2.9bn Parliament Lodges is disgusting proof of our government's luxurious lifestyle.

Hammad Mateen January 21, 2011
On January 20, 2011 PM Gilani announced the inauguration of Parliament Lodges Phase II. The construction will spread across four acres of land and the initial building will cost Rs2.9 billion. The entire project is set to be completed in 36 months.

The lodges include 104 residential family flats, a gymnasium, mosque, meeting rooms and five servant quarters. Earlier, Gilani also discussed reintroducing a proposal to construct a tunnel that led directly from the parliament house to the parliament lodges so that the security of parliamentarians could be ensured.

Interestingly, in the same address he talked about Pakistan’s economic crisis.

Our government seems to be part of a story with 'parallel plots' running side by side.

At one end, we have the story of the common man whose life is hell on earth due to price hikes and the security situation; on the other hand we have the luxurious lives of our parliamentarians who have found heaven on earth in the form a seat in the assembly.

My question is where did this Rs. 2.9 billion come from? Did the International Monetary Fund (IMF) provide the government a loan for this project? Is it a gift from Uncle Sam for the war against terror?  Did the NAB recover it from the Hajj scandal culprits? Or was it recovered from Mr Ayaz Khan Niazi (former chairman NIC)?

The very politicians that reach the assemblies through the vote of the common man now want to travel in underground passages so they don’t have to face the nation. They want safe, comfortable lives, while voters sleep without a roof over their heads, affected by floods and afraid of suicide attacks.

We are a country that begs for international aid for the rehabilitation of people struck by natural disasters and terrorism, but those affected never get a penny from that aid. Instead, our royal beggars construct luxury lodges and fulfill their desires by imposing taxes and raising prices on commodities.

Our prime minister, president, the opposition and all those around them should be ashamed of the way this country is being handled and mend their ways before it’s too late.
Hammad Mateen The author is a mechanical engineer, education management professional and freelance writer working in the social sector, he tweets as @hammadmateen (
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Ata ur Rahman | 13 years ago | Reply Lodges for parliamentarians Height of hypocrisy and downright stupidity. Common man? Who cares not this government. Ata ur Rahman
Sabeen Masood | 13 years ago | Reply the sacred and refreshing word " democracy" has totally lost in charm in Pakistan. I am sick of this Democracy.
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