Can Pakistan Survive?
B J Sadiq argues that the greed and corruption of Pakistan's elites threaten the country's very existence
A cursory view of the bazaars of Pakistan's capital Islamabad this Ramadan, suggested a serious lack of the old bustle. There was an air of uncommon tragedy in the way the traffic moved, so lazily, as though the people were victims of a gradual disaster; as though God's bounties were suddenly withdrawn from them; the influence of austerity was loud.
Islamabad was built at the immense expense to the rest of the country, and so in its aspect and the general convenience of its economy, it is hardly a microcosm of modern-day Pakistan.
Though even here, on a recent visit to an upscale bookstore, a glum-looking bespectacled salesperson spoke with intense hatred for the country's ruling classes, who in his view continually flaunt opulence while the rest of the country struggles for basic needs: 'We just sit here all day, staring into an empty shop, there are no sales, there's no future for our children now.'
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