Dear Prime Minister, please help us

We have done you a favour, by electing you to power, now you have to return that favour.

Dr Gul-E-Saman August 12, 2013
The writer is a professor at Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University, Peshawar. She recently completed her PhD in Computer Science from the University of York, UK

Dear Prime Minister,

I hope you are doing well and are busy overseeing the planning and execution of the solutions to the many problems our nation faces today. Since you’re probably too busy planning these reforms and you have just stepped into office, I thought I’d be kind enough to tell you a bit about your awaam.

Just as dutiful children are expected to inform their parents about the developments in their lives, I want to inform you. Please note that we have finally installed a generator at home! Despite living in a posh area of the capital city of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, we face several unannounced and unscheduled power cuts. The long absences of electricity are really felt badly. We have waited for years for the governments to fix the power crisis but it has not happened thus far.

The heat is getting unbearable and so is the energy crisis. We had initially installed a UPS (which seemed like a small miracle itself, when the fans and lights kept working even when there was a power cut) as we naively believed in the promises made by our government, time and again. Sadly, our patience has worn off. I am not blaming you. It is not entirely your fault but it is the fault of the people who have had power for years, who had the power to bring change, the people within whom power oscillates.

As a child, thanks to our former president, Ziaul Haq, who introduced the concept of load-shedding, I remember living through just one hour of scheduled deprivation each day. Can you please give my children the same facilities? Can you give this nation an uninterrupted eight hours of sleep each night? Can you give your people the surety that their government is there for them? Do you even realise the responsibility you have? Do you get eight hours of sleep, uninterrupted by power cuts and worries of basic livelihood? Can you give our senior citizens the surety that the sacrifices they made for the independence of this state were worthwhile?

We have done you a favour, by electing you to power, now you have to return that favour. You, being a businessman yourself, should know better — use this knowledge to cut costs and effectively utilise our resources. Please use your skills for the betterment of the nation. We really need you to. We don’t expect you to buy cheap electricity from another state as we do have enough resources to work miracles for us. We wouldn’t object to getting cheap electricity for some time, just as temporary relief for us and you could consider it eidi for your awaam. Ultimately, we want a permanent and effective indigenous solution — no imports allowed.

I promise we will keep our end of the deal if you keep yours. I promise we will work hard. We will do all we can for the improvement of our nation, only if you support us. Sixty-five years have gone by and things are not improving, in fact, rather than going forward we’re running in reverse gear.

I will be waiting for a positive response.

Yours Sincerely.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 13th, 2013.

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Gul E Saman | 10 years ago | Reply

@Nawaz Sharif: Thank you for doing all that. I was positive that you would be working on it. I do not deny the faults that lie within us and the system but we need support from the government along with incentives to perform better.

Gul E Saman | 10 years ago | Reply

@AliKuliKhan: I appreciate the critique. The idea was to write it such, as Pakistanis we have been taught at every level in our curriculum that your leader will be answerable if the nation is in distress as mostly parents are for their children hence the parent-child analogy. I am well aware of the dynamics of power shortage and if the word limit was not 800 words I had also drafted the means of power generation. Also, we don't want quick fixes hence we can wait for solid solutions.

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