In the recent live telecast, Prime Minister Imran Khan entertained random live calls from citizens. He helped an old lady whose house was illegally occupied by an influential tenant. I was unable to get my call through from Malaysia. I have been an ardent supporter of the PTI because PM Imran promised relief for the citizens from the burden of institutionalised corruption perpetuated by various cartels, especially by the powerful real estate and land mafia.
Hundreds of thousands of citizens have been robbed of their lifelong savings through various bogus housing schemes, including those which were offered plots through general computer balloting schemes advertised in the various newspapers. This is just the tip of the iceberg of the gross irregularities and injustices being committed by state institutions such as the CDA. In 1989, my mother was amongst those who were allotted a plot under a CDA scheme. Even after a lapse of over 32 years and having paid all installments required, my 60-year-old mother is still waiting for possession of the plot. In the interim period, governments have changed and so have CDA chairmen; thousands of schemes have been launched and plots have been given to the privileged elite. CDA does not even bother to reply to numerous letters written to them.
We are still waiting for justice to be dispensed because we believe in the idea of Pakistan as a modern democratic welfare state. But sooner or later, we must just lose hope.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 7th, 2021.