Don't just blame the government

The government contributes greatly to problems, but that doesn't mean we are blameless.

Irtiza Rizvi March 07, 2011
Last week, I read an article pertaining to the closure of 260 industrial units in Sindh in 2009. It made me question one thing – who is to blame for this?

Considering this is the Pakistani community and media in question, only one party could be at fault – the government.

Reasons cited for the closure were the power crisis, lack of finances, and the global recession. However, is it actually fair to place the blame squarely on the government’s shoulders?

How many of us have actually attempted to take action to solve the power crisis? I’ve seen street lamps being powered on for weeks, and yet no one bothers changing a faulty switch.

When the government does take action, it is met with a barrage of opposition. For example, petroleum dealers recently went on strike, seeking higher margins on sales. The very next day, petroleum consumers, ie the entire population, were protesting against the subsequent price hike. If the government cannot increase prices even after incurring losses worth Rs15 billion, how can it be expected to keep subsidising industries?

Yet, industrialists continue to demand ‘favourable policies’. It would make sense for the government to actually provide them, if the people in question were regularly paying taxes.

Yes, the government’s faults contribute to the problem, corruption being chief amongst them, but we too have our flaws. As citizens in a democracy, we have responsibilities. Cooperating for the greater good instead of vehemently protesting for our own purposes is one of them.

The harsh truth is: our selfishness is hindering progress far more than any action, or lack thereof, from the government.

It is high time we bring the change we wish to see in he world, instead of waiting for the government to provide a panacea.
Irtiza Rizvi A sub-editor for the business pages of The Express Tribune
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Sameen | 13 years ago | Reply I totally agree with you. The government, while having faults, is not the only one responsible for growth and progress in the country. The citizens also have an obligation to perform actions that enable progress. I have seen a shortage of electricity in Karachi ever since I have been around (read:born). Now all other reasons aside, if you KNOW that supply is not satisfying the demand, as a citizen you should ensure that you do not waste the already short supply. And yet people leave on the lights, PC's etc at the workplace. SWITCH THEM OFF! The argument that I get when I propose such actions is "Its not a big drain. PC's on standby dont really take that much energy". Well, a waste is a waste, no matter how small. I'd imagine if ALL PC's/lights were to be switched off even if for the weekend it would make a difference. This is just a small example. Everything is either blamed on the government or outside influences. I think the same adage "Charity starts at home" applies here. You want the government to fix problems? To help out first start with things you can control.
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