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Principles of Sociology

Pakistani Politics and Poverty in Pakistan

Submitted to;

Hazir Ullah
Department of Sociology
International Islamic University
Isalmabad

Submitted by;

Akif Sattar
BS P & IR 3rd Semester
International Islamic University
Islamabad

Poverty
Poverty is a condition in which human being or community is deprived of or lack
essential standards of well being. Poverty is hunger. Poverty is lack of shelter. Poverty is
being sick and not being able to see a doctor. Poverty is not being able to go to school and
not knowing how to read. Poverty is not having a job, is fear for the future, living one day
at a time. Poverty is losing a child to illness brought about by unclean water. Poverty is
powerlessness, lack of representation and freedom.
Politics
Politics deals with the making of decision generally it’s associated with the struggle
for legal power. Poverty and politics are closely related to each other. Poverty is associated
with the common man and purpose of politics is to make decision for the well being of
common man.
Pakistan is a poor country. In Pakistan, currently more than 20% people are living
below the poverty line. People in the rural areas are poorer than in the urban areas. Its
economy is facing fluctuations now a day. At the time of independence Pakistan has very
low resources and capital, so the processes of progress were very slow. Unfortunately the
politicians of Pakistan were all not well aware of modern global system and the progress
processes and the needs of country. Due to bad policies today Pakistan is facing a lot of
problems. The continuous failure of policies leads the people of country to miserable
conditions. The major problem in the country is poverty which is becoming the cause of
crime and social disorder and all this happened due to the incompetency of politicians who
have failed to formulate such policies through which we can reduce the poverty and solve
many other problems of contemporary time.

Government is not well aware of present conditions of country. The policies of


government are base on the suggestions of officials which do not have awareness about the
problems of a common man. If you analyze the almost one and a half year of this
government, we came to know that this government not even raised the issues of common
man. They are still wasting their energies on the 17th amendment and the issues of NRO.
There has been no relief for the common man. I am not specifically criticizing the current
government but every government does the same in the same way or the other. In contrast,
if we study the manifesto of any political party, it seems that if this party came into power
all the issues will resolved and the country will soon flourish its economy and we will able
to say goodbye to all the problems. So there is much difference in our saying and doings.

Another program is going on for the alleviation of poverty in Pakistan which is


BISP. No doubt it is a good program for the reduction of the poverty. In my point of view,
may be I will be wrong but if the budget of this program have been invested on developing
any industry in Pakistan then the industry will grew further and pick velocity to be sustain
by its own. But now the money is distributed all over the country. Say for example one year
one million got the support from this program and the next year one and a half million
people got the support. So it means we have increased the poverty because last year was
one million are poor and meeting the criteria and the next year one and a half million
people fulfilling the criteria and getting benefit. So I think this amount should be invested
for the long term achievements.

I am talking about the last few months, in which oil prices were very low, but the
common masses had not get the benefit of low prices and there had been no change in the
local prices and the misery is this, government impose the carbon tax on the petroleum
products an later on this tax waived off and petroleum development levey was introduced.
So in doing all this there is no benefit went to the public nor to the country. For the time
being the reserves was made by the petroleum products and with some other tactics this
amount will be transferred to the foreign accounts and the population remain in the
miserable conditions. If the policy formulated at right time public can avail its benefits.

Almost half of the population of this country living in the rural areas and the rural
areas are extremely ignored by all the political parties. These areas are neglected for the
years and on development had been made for the sake of rural people. It is a fact that
Pakistan is agricultural country and its economy based on agriculture and political parties
failed to implement fruitful policies over here. In the agricultural based countries we are
facing the shortage of floor and some time sugar. Look at the current situation now it is the
sugarcane season and formers are going to market their cane. Now the government
importing millions ton of the sugar. And when the sugar is excessively available in the
market, the cane prices will be low and benefit again will go to the politicians who own the
sugar mills. The shortage has made to create artificial crises and the sugar always available
in the black.

In many other ways the politician and the policy makers play with the economy of
poor farmers and consequently they are forced to live hand to mouth. In the last
government, subsidy was waived off from the fertilizers and pesticides. In this policy the
politicians get benefited as they are own the business of fertilizers and pesticide companies.
The fertilizers are so costly that the common former cannot afford that cost and there is no
problem for the feudal lords with that cost and in this way elite class again get benefit and
common man remains in the poverty.

The reason for poverty is the low level of education and the defective education
system. In Pakistan, the literacy rate is only 56%, which is very low in the world. Due to
the few technical, engineering and research institutions, the productivity of labour is very
low and our human resources are outdated, both qualitatively and quantitatively. The
policies are not formulated for the education of the poor people. The last Punjab
government very proud of their program of free education for all and the present
government also have the same policies. But in contrast, I would like to share a bitter
reality and misery of the politics. From where I belong, a district of southern Punjab and
my village is not for from the district headquarter, there is no school for the population of
hundreds of people and I knew other villages around our village has the same condition. So
where there is no school, there is no question of education and the government loud the
slogans of free education. Not only the education the rural areas deprived from many basic
necessities of life, like in the same village there is no electric supply. So the politics badly
fails to reduce OR to uproot any cause from which poverty can be reduced.
Now I will come to another point that is unfair distribution of wealth. The elite
class, who is living in the luxury houses availing all the luxuries of life, has no idea about
the poorness of the people. The twenty percent of our population is living in the extreme
poor conditions they have no proper shelter even to hide from the hot and cold of the
seasons. And our politician and head of the government and the head of the state are living
in the houses of acres. Is this social justice? About which great Caliph of Muslim say, if
there is any dog died from hunger in his territory then Omer RA will be answerable to the
Almighty Allah. And here we always read news paper, daily people are going to end their
lives and the politicians and responsible people have no problem at all.

The system of income tax in Pakistan is such imprudent it seems it only established
to benefit the elite and politicians. Indirect taxes like general sales tax, customs duty, excise
duty etc, affect the poor consumers greatly. Ultimately there will be poverty. Black
marketing, hoarding, smuggling, profiteering, nepotism, corruption of a specific
community is exploiting the poor people of Pakistan, making them poorer. The common
man don’t know the tactics to deal the papers and the politicians have no problem to hide
their all income and to pay reduced income tax it is about only one percent people pay the
actual tax and they are belong to middle class.
Another cause of poverty is corruption. In this field also politicians are the
champions and their level of corruption is so high that the common man can’t think about
it. One has to pay a heavy cost to get his right. Law and order conditions are out of control
and institutions are failed to provide justice to a common man. Justice can be bought by
money only. But government is unable to control such type of things. In this whole
scenario some corrupt people has been occupying the resources and common man is living
in miserable conditions.

Law and order situation is worst now. As I described there is no concept of any sort
of issue without the bribe. If there is case in the court it will be there in the court for the
years. So when people cannot get justice from the courts they themselves will handle the
issues and will take law in their hands and problem of social crime will occur. On the other
hand, there will be no problem with the politicians they make any disorder any sort of
corruption and will be free through any reconciliation order. So always the poorer who pay
the cost and get poorer and the rich politicians get benefit and will grow into more wise and
rich.

Privatization leads to the poverty. Unemployment increase due to privatization and


ultimately poverty rises. Government is unable to manage the departments and country has
low reserve assets. So the meet the requirements some companies run by government are
sold to foreign investors and may got some benefits. And they reduced the man power to
run the company so unemployment increases. And this also happen that commodities or
services provided by the companies are becoming costly. For example if government sold a
gas plant then prices for gas in country rises.

All is not always bad. Some of the policies and programs are in progress to face
these problems. At the end I will share one of the programs which have major part in
alleviation of poverty in Pakistan. Like this program many other program also working for
the poverty alleviation in Pakistan but they are related directly to the politics of Pakistan.
NGOs and UNDP has major role in these efforts.

The World Bank funded Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund Project was designed to
reduce poverty and empower the rural and urban poor in Pakistan. The project provides
access to much-needed microcredit loans and grants for infrastructure and capacity
building. The Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) represents an innovative model of
public private partnership. Sponsored by the Government of Pakistan and funded by the
World Bank and other leading donors. The PPAF project aims to help the rural poor in
Pakistan get out of a cycle of misery, and get into a virtuous cycle of opportunities. To help
poor people gain access to resources to earn an income and to develop projects aimed at
improving their lives, the Government of Pakistan created the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation
Fund (PPAF) as an autonomous body working with local partners to provide loans, grants
and technical assistance to the poorest individuals and communities in the country.

I would like to conclude that we should our politicians should realize the problems
of common masses and properly address these problems. We have already wasted our sixty
two years of independence in making manifestos of our political agendas but we have
failed to implement those agendas in real sense. This is the crucial time to put our house in
order and to do more for the people of our own country instead for others.