Great Democracy

(Tehzeeb Arif, Lahore)

Pakistan is a country of more than 160 million people. According to economic surveys our one third of the population is living below living standards. In 2009 due to world economic recession further increase in poverty is expected. It is to be noted that according to United Nation any person earning less than $2 per day comes under the bracket of poverty. But imagine a country where buying a single Roti costing Rs.5 seems difficult.

Pakistani leadership claimed our country to be a democratic state. According to the constitution our country is run by elected members of National assembly NA constituting 342 members headed by Prime minister that represent 160 mln people of Pakistan. Here are some facts about benefits given to the members of national assembly MNAs who are entrusted with handling the fate of 160 mln people.

Average monthly salary of an MNA ranges between Rs.120,000 to Rs.200,000. Allotted constitution expense is Rs.100,000 per month. Traveling concession (Rs.8 per Km) is Rs.48,000 per month for a visit to Islamabad and return up to 6000 Km. Daily BETA during assembly meets is Rs.500. All MNAs can travel free of cost in 1 class AC train for any number of times all over Pakistan. They have the facility of 40 free air trips in business class flight with a wife or PA. Electricity which is the biggest crises faced by Pakistan currently, they can use 50,000 units free of cost at home. Not only are this but local phone call charges free up to 170,000 calls.

Estimated per year expense on an MNA is Rs.32 million which means 5 year expense will be Rs.160 million. After all this you can imagine how much 342 MNAs cost to our country. Are they worth it? When a common Pakistani can’t afford a Roti of Rs.5, do these entire great politicians deserve such high benefits? If that is what our leaders call democracy then think of a great democracy we are and great politicians we have!

Written by
Tehzeeb Arif
Student of Punjab University

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