Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Kathmandu Nepal - Day 1 - Arrival and chilling

There was the annual Biogas Workshop taking place in Kathmandu, Nepal from November 9 -13, 2009 for which i, as Programme Manager, Pakistan Domestic Biogas Programme was invited. It was sponsored by the Asian Development Bank and SNV. Took a flight with a long route, from Islamabad to Doha, Qatar (4 hours), 4 hours layover and then Doha to Kathmandu, Nepal (4 hours). Got some chillout stuff from Doha. Qatar airways hostesses were hot but there was a distinct service difference between the two flights including the chillout option in the latter flight. There was no requirement for a visa for Pakistanis, and hence no waiting in line as the goras were made to wait.
yes the rooms were awesome
Met a non English speaking Mr. Mahman (Benin) and a very happy Mr Bien Alme (Burkino Faso) and we got some local chillout stuff right outside the airport. The roads were very crowded on the way to the Hyatt and they were rule-free roads. However, the Hyatt Regency, which is the premiere hotel, was just awesome with really big rooms and awesome service.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Kathmandu Nepal - Day 2 - Meetings

Start at 9 am with a meeting with the Bangladesh Team -- Formanul Islam (Director and Co. Secy. – Infrastructural Development Company Limited IDCOL) and Nazmul Haque Faisal (Sr. Programme Manager, National Domestic Biogas and Manure Programme NDBMP). Interesting attitudes. Forman was friendly, the younger Faisal seemed to have strong anti-pak feelings. Met Saroj Rai (Executive Director – BSPN) who gave an excellent presentation on the Nepal Programme. Good stats and things to learn from there.

Visited Nepal Biogas Promotion Association (NBPA) and Exec Dir. Mohan Raj Sharma and his team met with us including Dilip Kumar Acharya (Secy) and Bikash Adhikari (Engineer) who did his Bachelors in Engineering from Quaid-e-Azam University of Engineering in NawabShah in Sindh. The organization was in a dilapidated building and it didn’t seem like a very professional setup. Their mandate and responsibilities seemed somewhat unclear and obscure. Went to the Alternative Energy Promotion Center (AEPC) and met executive director Dr. Narayan Prasad Chaulagain and Neils Juhl Thomson (Chief Advisor). AEPC is responsible for a number of activities of the Biogas programme in Nepal. Also visited Renewable Energy Test Station (RETS) and met Prem Bdr. Basnet (General Manager) who gave a tidy presentation and tour of the facilities. Very interesting to see them. The Bangladeshi team wanted to replicate the same lab there. In 2-3 years the PDBP should do the same.

Came to the Hyatt and after some chillout with Bibhushan Bhattacharya and a colleague went to the Rox Bar for some networking, chillout and socializing. Very good session of meeting and getting to know people from a lot of places including SNVs Senior Biogas advisor in Indonesia, the extremely enterprising, Felix SNVs Senior Advisor in Tanzania, the boisterous William Boers, Senior Advisor in Ethiopia, the man of the hour SNVs Wim Van Nes, the enterprising and knowledgeable Bastiaan, SNV advisor to Vietnam, Biogas Practice Leader, Lam Saoleng, Programme Coordinator, National Biodigester Programme, A Cambodian Senate Official, a representative of Lettinga Associates Foundation (LeAF), Netherlands, D. Vidya Sagar, President, SKG Sangha, and the Indonesian programmes (HiVos) counterpart Robert de Groot among many others.

Went with Bibhushan Bhattacharya for dinner on a cab whose rates Bibu had to haggle down a lot. We were stopped at a security check post, probably set up cause there was a scheduled strike the next day and the driver quickly said there is a ‘Vadaishee’ (foreigner), the cop shook my hand and we exchanged greeting in Hindi/Urdu and he let us go through with a smile. J However, was surprised to learn that Kathmandu pretty much closes down by 9-10 pm. None of the restaurants were open, ate some sandwich at a bakery, had some lively chit chat with Bibu, who was very hospitable and came back all the way to the Hyatt, which was completely out of his way just to ensure that I get home safely even though it wasn’t a serious issue. Came home, say the heroics of Mohammad Aamer of the Pakistan cricket team against New Zealand fail at the very end and then dropped asleep.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Kathmandu Nepal - Day 3 - Plenary Sessions

Had to getup at 7:30 for another early start. Registered for the event, had breakfast and then the workshop programme started with initial remarks and some rather bland country presentations from Nepal, China and India. The Indian presentation was exceedingly boring and unprofessional, quite shocking for most of the participants. A very informative and appealing presentation full of numbers by SNVs Felix livened up the proceedings. Had a scrumptious lunch with the company of the appealingly pretty Sweta Pokharel , an investment officer of Nepali origin in Thailand, Marco Linden, Carbon Finance Advisor in Nepal and the PhD candidate, Shaunna Barnhart from Penn State University. Great to see people from across the globe sharing their experiences in the biogas sector.

Also met several other people including Rajendra Shakya, Regional Head of Admin and a Nepali supporting the Energy initiative in Afghanistan. Attended a rather slow session on realizing biogas benefits including presentations and group work. A couple of the presentations were really good in the sense that we got an understanding of the biogas experience in Ethiopia, gender mainstreaming measures in India and ways of integrating biogas into rural policies and plans. This was the first of two plenary sessions for the workshop and they helped in identifying how the programmes varied from country to country focusing on different issues based on their local needs.
Faisal from Bangladesh
Afterwards we got together at poolside for some chilling with all the attendees of the conference and some nice chit chat while having some very appetizing snacks. Met a Ministry of Environment member from India who gave an insightful account of his experiences. Chilled out with a few colleagues over discussions over the days proceedings and implication on our programme. Came to the room, wrote the blog for the past 3 days and went to sleep relatively early.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Kathmandu Nepal - Day 4 - Plant Visit, Himalayan Lunch and Garden of Dreams

I woke up at 6:30 am in the morning to have time for breakfast before the participants headed off in 10 buses at 7:30 am to Bela village located near Dhulikhel in Kavrepalanchok District where three hundred or so plants have been built. A 90 minute initially bumpy drive, Kathmandu roads need quite some repair, to a very scenic area where the plants were located. We had a very nice group of 12 people all different nationalities in our bus. 

With Mariela Pino, Chile
Especially interesting to note was the versatile and knowledgeable Micheal Yon, an American who writes about the US military among other things for NY Times, takes photographs which have been published in the Smithsonian and the Times Magazine. He spoke of his travels to Iraq, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, India, Nepal and many others. Also made acquaintance with the lively Mariela Andrea Pino from Chile, currently studying in Germany and she had lots of experiences and learnings to share.

Atop a biogas plant
We visited two plants, a 6m3 which had been operating for four years and was operational even with one animal. Slurry was however not being produced. The house was still using some firewood to feed their animals (cow, goats, chickens). What really impressed me was that the family was growing organic vegetables for themselves and for selling, they were also transporting beehives from trees to neatly designed borrows in the house walls to collect honey. It was really neat to see the biogas plants transforming and improving the lives of the people in the rural areas.
A tasty and well needed lunch was had at the Himalayan Horizon, an ostentatious place with a view to die for. The landscape was of the Himalayan range showing over 10 peaks ranging from 6000 – 8000 meters, needless to say the lunch session pretty outstanding especially since I got to chat with Shanti Kapila, consultant from the Asian Development Bank, who pretty much 

everyone wanted to accost and after speaking with her, it was obvious why that was so. Came back to the Hyatt and set up the stall for PDBP in the marketplace arranged in the workshop. We gave out marketing material and other info on the Pakistan programme. The Nepalese friend from BSPN especially Ameesha was very helpful in our marketing efforts, so was Gisella Mcguiness from ICRC. Great opportunity to see some of the appliances and products that other programmes and manufacturers had developed. From PDBPs perspective i felt the Indonesdian programme is one which we can work together since we are at a similar place.

Then I chilled out with the boss and another colleague before getting onto the buses to go to the Garden of Dreams, which is located in the Kings Palace. The place was really quite grandiose and classy and we had the opportunity to chill out some more. Most important was that we had very exciting discussions with some of the other participants. 

SNV gave permission for me to invite my Nepali friends to the dinner and I got the opportunity to meet with Bibhushan and Manjita Sharma which was quite fabulous.Had some animated and detailed discussions with Henri Spanjers from LeAF and Fred Marree who was SNVs person for all the logistics arrangements. It was quite an exciting evening overall even though extremely exhausting and I got back pretty late before I finally retired for the evening.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Kathmandu Nepal - Day 5 - Workshops, networking and the Nepali President

Woke up at 7 in the morning, with a groggy head due to all the chilling out the previous day. Had a quick breakfast before going into a session on innovations in the biogas plant models and other features of the programme. It was helpful in the sense that it was evident that the GGC 2047 is the best model, especially for conditions as they are in Pakistan. Also important was to get some of the information regarding specific data which is very helpful.

Had a very tasty lunch followed by some boring speeches before we were given a bit of a break to network with the other members and I had the opportunity to chat with Hans Heijdra, SNV country director and the ultra casual boss of every boss, Kirk, SNV BoD Chairman who was extremely friendly and helpful to talk and share ideas with. This was a really impressive aspect of the entire workshop, that i could meet with such high places officials in a casual setting and share are experiences. One of these meetings was with the extremely hard working Dr Indira Shakya, Treasurer BSPN and one of the most enterprising and friendly yet extremely intelligent person I’ve met Sheila Oparaocha, Consultant for ETC Foundation, both of whom are related to the Gender Mainstreaming component of Biogas Development. Also got to meet the female mason who has constructed over 400 plants herself, which is quite the achievement. Women in rural Pakistan are hesitant to take up that task.
Some awesome ladies including mason who build 400+ plants
Then the final presentation took place which included the Honorable President of Nepal, Dr Ram Baran Yadav, who is facing lots of strikes from the Maoists due to his decision to reverse the decision of the Defense Ministry (controlled by Maoists) to oust the Chief of Army Staff (COAS). Even though the COAS has now resigned the Maoists want the government (read President) to accept the mistake and apologize, which does not seem to be happening anytime soon. A lot of awards were given away to the BCCs, MFIs, masons, NGOs etc who had performed exceptionally well during the programme.
After the presentation, there was a grand dinner which i excluded myself from, although i did have some nice chat conversations. Instead i headed out to have dinner at Manjita Sharmas house which was located about 15 minutes away by Taxi. Shared the cab with Shaunna, and walked a little bit in a dark street with a superbly fresh winter breeze which made the evening just awesome. Had a really scrumptious meal and some very fine discussions with the couple while we chilled in their 4-5 bedroom house with a very nice terrace. I even got a ride on the bike as i was dropped off near someplace where i got a taxi and came back to the hotel after an eventful fifth day in Nepal.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Kathmandu Nepal - Day 6 - Breakfast, Shopping and Departure

Woke up nice and relaxed at 9am. Packed up my stuff, had a very healthy and chilled out breakfast by the poolside.

Had a good time to think over the past week and all that had transpired through it. There were plenty of learning to take home from this trip, lots about the biogas programme from different countries, the well matured Nepalese programme, the amazingly progressive Bangladeshi Bio-slurry programme, the difficulties faced by the African nations, the growth in the Vietnamese programme, the similarity of the Indonesian Programme with ours as well as learning about the people.
Had an opportunity to socialize with individuals from several countries and learned a lot from those interactions.
Later on in the day, took a taxi to do some shopping, bought some souvenirs and some gifts for family and friends including the famous Nepalese ‘whistling bowls/bells’. Came back stuffed in all we could and headed back on our flight back to the Pakistan.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Foreign Diplomats!

Imagine two Pakistan embassy officials roaming around in a car (with fake number plates) near the Capital buildings in Washington DC are found with 2 Kalashnikov guns, 6 Grenades, and 6 Bullet proof jackets.

Or how about, a notorious weapons subcontractor of the Pakistani Embassy is found with unlicensed weapons in the tune of dozens.

Would they be
  1. Let go with a smile
  2. Taken off to Guantanamo
  3. Just disappear from the face of the earth
Without a doubt, its likely that option 2 or 3 would be the most likely result. However, as described in Example 1, Example 2, Example 3, Option 1 was what actually happened.

All these examples were of foreign diplomats with diplomatic immunity. My question is, in times as precarious as we have right now, with bombs and terror attacks happening ever so often, and with plenty of doubt about the actions of foreigners being involved in these activities, whether we should allow diplomatic immunity to these embassies.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Poverty: Population or Inequality

When experts sit down and discuss the root cause of poverty (since poverty is cited as a major cause for so many evils including extremism), as they did in a recently televised program 50 minutes on Geo TV, they point to the rising population and lack of family planning by poorer households which lead to their own devastating demise. Creating awareness, education, birth control pills etc etc are identified as measures to solve the issue of poverty.

However, there is an alternative picture to eradicating poverty which we feel uncomfortable discussing essentially because it means change has to be brought to 'our lives' (the rich and ruling) and not theirs (the poor and downtrodden). That issue is the lack of equality amongst our people. I recently blogged about Income Inequality in the US, and we saw that the top 1% take a quarter of the country's wealth. I would be sure that this number is far higher in Pakistan where the Legharis, Zardaris, Saigols, Dawoods, Habibs, Adamjees, Bawany, Hashwani, Sharifs and Manshas rule the roost in all matter of income. I was surprised to learn that some studies have been carried out and as seen in this report even with the officially listed companies, the top few families own an incredible amount of wealth. Back in the early 90's, the disclosed wealth of these families was several billion dollars. I would not be surprised if each of these families is hitting the trillion dollar mark by now.

I would, in no way, doubt that encouraging families to ascertain their ability to raise their off springs before having children, supporting birth control measures etc are very much required in a country like Pakistan where women in rural areas commonly have 6 or more children and suffer tremendously as a result. But the significance of spreading the wealth more judiciously may well be enough to bring poverty levels in Pakistan down to manageable levels. How and when that may happen is not clear, but i can sense it will and hopefully within the life of my generation.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Kerry Lugar Bill

A lot is being said about it, not a lot is really being understood about it. If you the actual bill

and some very well diagnosed issues within the bill which i found to be most pertinent in understanding what the bill is all about. I agree with whats in here.

i personally feel, the bill is just another little step in the actions that was started decades ago to sell this country, its sovereignty and its peoples for money and power. This time its on paper, in the news and hence clearer to all those who matter.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Veiled Swimsuit

Nevertheless, what is most surprising to me is how the 'liberation' movement and modernization of society as we know it has changed ideas of what is admissable and what is not. A recent article i read online really has been an eye opener and is what inspired this post. What shocked me the most was that at the start of the 20th century, a suit which covered a little less than the suit above was deemed not modest enough for societal standards. That too, for someone who swam professionally, the pic is of Annette Kellerman, an australian who became the first woman to cross the English Channel. The change from that point in time in 1907 to now in 2009 has been drastic and extremely fast and how it will impact the mindset of generations to come seems makes me quite uneasy. What our next generation may deem to be normal and decent may well be very difficult for us to digest, but i suppose thats how its been for past generations as well. Is this a just a cycle, a degenerative one according to me, that humankind goes through every few centuries or has the current modern man transgressed beyond past historical trends. Time will tell.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Zimmedar Shehri - Responsible Citizen

In March 2009, a bunch of students took it upon themselves to start cleaning up Lahore city. Meeting every Sunday at 6, volunteers have been joining hands with these dynamic individuals to work all through the summer to clean up Lahore. They are the Zimmedar Shehri (Responsible Citizens) with the motto of 'Creating a sense of social responsibility.'

They started off by meeting at Ghalib Market and by virtue of their persistence, they were able to get media attention (NYTimes, GEO TV, DunyaTV, Examiner, and TheNews) which led to further support in terms of publicity and more individuals getting to know about their efforts and joining hands with these fellows.

It has now been 6 months and their efforts are carrying on unabated, they now meet at Main
Market to create an understanding among the locals that its all about making an effort yourself to clean up your surroundings. With Ramadan approaching, it will be a test for these boys and girls to continue getting good numbers of volunteers but its a test they are ready to take on. Rest assured, as the winter months roll on, this mission is bound to gain momentum and expand even further. So, if you're done with cribbing and complaining about lack of will among our people to bring about change, get your bum off the couch and head down to Main Market next Sunday at 6 to see these awesome people in action.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Income Inequality - US

A research report by Emmanuel Saez into income inequality rates in the US is really shocking and evidence of the sad direction the US and hence the world is heading into. The data collected highlights the trend of widening gaps between the ultra rich and the 'not quites'. I would not be surprised if these ratios are even more bizarrely skewed in Pakistan.

The first image here indicates the top 0.01% of the working population and what share of the total earning they get. The 2008 stats indicate that these guys get a whopping 6% of the total pie. Thats probably more shocking than it sounds. Just the top 0.01% getting 6%. Thats like saying that if the total number of people is 10,000, 1 of these guys makes 6% of the total of what everyone makes. That just totally boggles my mind. These levels are higher than ever before and if these trends continue, god knows what the outcomes will be for the average people.

This second graph is just as startling if not more so. It indicates how the earnings percentages have changed among the top 1%, 1-5%, and 5-10% of the US population. As seen in the chart, the top 1% makes approximately 23% of the total earnings. I just find it difficult to really get a hang of what that translates into, the resource spread is just so lopsided, its bound to result in devastating results eventually. You can also see that the top 10% are making 50% of the total money. When money starts accumulating in such limited number of hands, how long can you expect there to be peace. Of all the problems the world faces, this seems the hardest to solve.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Critical Mass - Lahore

Facebook can act as a catalyst to get acquainted to a whole lot of things, a few of these are actually constructive. I got to know of Critical Mass - Lahore through facebook and was pretty intrigued by these individuals who were meeting up on a regular basis, despite the lahori heat to bike around lahore. So i decided to give it a shot and last Sunday i joined these folks at 6 pm at Zakir Tikka to check out what its all about.

Attendance is low during the summer time yet about 10 individuals showed up in the humid weather. The actual ride was about 8-10 kms on that particular day and the route changes from day to day. The pic showing an outlay of the route on a particular day. I learned that once you start cycling, you really don't feel the heat at all and the distance is not a major factor either and if you have a suitable bicycle and appropriate clothing it really is a joy to ride around town.

What was most exciting was the company of people during the ride. We had Rafay Alam, the insightful lawyer who had plenty of interesting facts to share, Rabia a teacher at NCA, Buraar, a luminite working at Warid, Kate, from Oxford studying urban development and there were plenty other very interesting people as well. All this has resulted in some attention from the media in terms of short news clips in the tv channels and some coverage in the newspapers as well, surprisingly it even caught the attention of international media such as this clip

The objective of this campaign is to re-introduce the idea of commuting via economically and environmentally feasible means. Rafay, who gives lectures at LUMS, uses his bike to commute to LUMS. So do some of these other people which was indeed very gratifying to know. So the next time you're complaining about not having anything to do and that you do not get enough exercise, just remember that an awesome alternative exists which is not only a lot of fun but a great way to meet new people while you get some good exercise aswell.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Socrates Cafe

Every Monday at 8 pm, a dozen or so people, mostly students, some teachers, thinkers and people from other walks of life gather together in the spacious art painting decorated hall of Lahore Chitrkar to share thoughts and ideas. A topic is chosen a week in advance and usually a deep insightful discussion ensues.

Last week, the subject of discussion was 'democracy', what it means, why it is regarded as the ultimate form of governance system, what possible conditions are required for it to succeed, what problems are inherent in it, and importantly what alternatives exist to the system. This week the topic was even more interesting, 'Where do ideas come from?'.

More than the specific answers to these questions what was more thrilling is knowing that a forum exists where one can go, listen to and take part in healthy discussion with individuals from different spheres of life willing to share their thoughts and ideas with others. Next week, we talk about 'Death', and though the topic may seem morbid and rather vague, the concept of listening to the viewpoints of others is very exciting for me.

For that we can thank, Shahid Mirza, for hosting the premises and Afdash, for making the requisite arrangement including some tasty snacks.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Lahore Bachao Tehrik

The Lahore Bachao Tehrik (LBT) is up in arms again with hues and cries bemoaning the canal road widening project undertaken by the government which will result in the cutting of several hundred trees. The premise for the road widening being the exacerbating amount of traffic that flows through that critical area. Approx 220,000 cars pass through the canals daily, that is at least 10,000 cars an hour or 170 odd a minute!! So perhaps a widening of the canal will help, at least to some extent in ensuring a faster flow of traffic, and fewer traffic jams. It is unclear whether accidents will go up or down.

I am very much in favor of widening the canal, not just because of the better flow of traffic, which will result by doing so but rather because of the type of trees that are being cut. Not many people discuss this but the trees planted along the canal are Eucalyptus trees. A grown Eucalyptus tree takes about 100 liters of subsoil water and puts it into the atmosphere every day!* Since the 70's we have been planting these trees like crazy. Corruption, lack of knowledge and the lack of care for the future are the major reasons why that's been happening. But that fact is, in a world where water scarcity is fast becoming an issue which could result in wars, we need to get rid of the eucalyptus not preserve it. Sure, the Eucalyptus may help in ensuring the water that leaks underground from the canal is absorbed by the tree and does not have an impact on the neighboring houses, but surely there is a better way out of that.

So my suggestion would be to get rid of these trees, and widen the canal, while the (LBT) can think of smart solutions by planting indigenous trees which are more useful to us rather than expensive foreign trees which really have no use in this country.

Trees not to be planted: Eucalyptus, Alstonia, Palm etc

Trees to be planted: Sheesham, Peepal, Neem, Ambaltas, and fruit trees like mango, orange, grapefruit, citrus etc

I planted 7 such trees with my own hands today which takes the tally of trees in my house to 45 and trust me its an awesome feeling knowing you're doing something, something insignificant and small, but something for the environment.

* 'Saving what trees, Shehr, The News July 28, 2009'

Friday, July 3, 2009

University of Gujrat

P1080120Image by lokha via Flickr

I made a little road trip yesterday with some family and friends to the town of Gujrat, about 150 kilometers on the Grand Trunk (GT) road from Lahore to Rawalpindi. My actual destination was the University of Gujrat (UOG) which itself is located about 15 kms from the city near Jallalpur Jatta.

UoG was set up a few years back as an HEC funded public university using the model of public state universities elsewhere in the world. It was indeed shocking to see the level of development and infrastructure the university has acquired. Being run by Dr Nizamuddin who has plenty of experience teaching abroad as well as over 15 years spent with the UN. The university is offering various degrees in 8 different department including medicine, law, design, social and basic science for both the Bachelors and Masters programs. The first batch is ready to graduate this summer.

The university has really good faculty, many imported from abroad as well as extremely good facilities including a printing press of thier own, computer labs equipped with macs and 22 inch flat screens, the fanciest dorms ive seen in a while, and a whole lot more. Seriously, good stuff and worth visiting. Keep an eye out about the university. Pretty soon, you'll be hearing a whole lot more about it.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Bad Governance and Public Misery

I was hoping to re-invigorate the viewership of my blog with some enthusiatically optimistic and encouraging information at the start of the fiscal year 2009-2010 but the current situation in Pakistan is so perplexing and dangerous and that too on so many fronts that i have to start off with some sad news.

There comes a time in a nations history when people begin to realize via dedicated efforts in data gathering and reasearch to unearth the root causes of the problems that they face. In Pakistan today, due to the free media (and it is unarguably quite free with 43 privately owned news channels, atleast much more free than the US media which runs under the whims of a handful of men) as well as the shameless and bizarre legitimacy given to corruption, bribery and kickbacks that it is very easy for us to know what is making life so difficult in this country.

Case in point, the headlines in todays newspaper:
As we all know the country has a massive fiscal deficit (government expenditures > government revenue) to the tune of something like PKR 600 Billion...thats about $7 Billion!! as well as huge amount of foreign and domestic debt (totalling around $117 Billion!!! :-O) so our dear president has been going from tour to tour with his ever expanding entourage and pleading and begging the leaders of the world to support us. Apart from the much deserved, $1.5 BN/year for 5 years from the US, and a million bucks from angelina jolie, what we really have achieved is to get loans from the IMF, World Bank etc to pay off the interest on the loans that we already have. Loans to pay off loans...makes complete sense doesn't it! Conclusion: We're in a whole lot of trouble if we are able to survive the current economic downturn. Does anyone remember how to get loans written off by virtue of fighting someone else's war?

So, in accordance with the IMF loan stipulations, the government has hiked up petrol prices by about 10% which means prices of pretty much all commodities goes up (interestingly 43% of the petrol price is government tax) as well as increases in the price of Diesel, Gas, Kerosene and what not. That's understandable only because we have virtually accepted the fact that lavish and ostentatiously opulent government expenditures by those in power are a very legitimate right and not something that needs to be cut down. This debauchery is clearly indicated by our (dis)honorable Prime Minister who has just doubled the parliamentarians development fund (aka thier own money) from PKR 10 Million to 20 Million.

I mean...what the ....!

Custom Search