Shahab Usto

(Facebook Post)I wish I would have read this news like this: “A Conference is being held in London to be attended by renowned scholars, academicians and scientists to explore the developmental potentials of Sindh with a view to bring about a futuristic policy framework in order to transform the existing backward, neglected and poorly governed Sindh into a modern, progressive and industrialized Sindh” . Instead what I hear is that the same old and much abused method of merry-making and wasting public funds is being repeated by way of holding an expensive conference on public expense (though I must say I don’t know for sure if it is public or private funded event). But if it is a public funded Gala, then I strongly disapprove of it. We have seen such conferences have proven to be nothing but a sheer (if not criminal) waste of money and energies.

Mostly such events have proven to be an occasion for the organizers to cultivate personal relations with the ruling party’s leadership.

However, to be fair, I will appreciate and reckon the sincerity and good intents of the (private) organizers of this Conference, if they are not receiving any funding from the Sindh government. In that case my advise would be for them to set new priorities for a New Sindh. For, the Sindh that the ruling party has turned into portrays a pathetic, if not dreadful picture. More than 60% of our poor children don’t go to schools, and the remaining don’t receive quality education; legions of our educated Sindhi youth are idling away their precious times at the sideway hotels in our towns and cities or forced to perform menial jobs to survive; and our physical and social infrastructures are in tatters; the neo-feudal and neo-bureaucratic forces have virtually disempowered and disenfranchised the common men from the common wealth and resources of the province; and democracy and public institutions have been highjacked by a corrupt and unaccountable political elites.

Therefore, we have to set our priorities straight; we need our efforts to be directed towards, and every penny of our public finances spent on, the development of our social and economic sectors–human resource development, provision of safe drinking water to protect millions of poor from chronic diseases and thereby save their productive capacities; enhancing the quality of education, drastically overhauling health services; and developing a physical infrastructure that could provide a launching pad for an all-round and sustainable development in the industrial, agricultural and service sectors, particularly in the much neglected rural areas of Sindh.

We have had enough of this untested and unassessed stress on the efficacy of Sofism to fight extremism, glamorized by some western theorists. Reintroducing Sofism in our complex socio-political and regional environment is nothing but a ham-handed attempt to cover the criminals tracks of those who put our peaceable Sindhi folks onto a path of violence and religio-sectarian extremism, just to serve their masters, local and foreign.

As a result, a large number of these terrorists (and other misguided souls) are now leading a miserable and dehumanized life, being hunted down by their own progenitors, and excommunicated from the mainstream of society.

We all know the roots of extremism and violence in the contemporary Sindh are embedded , inter-alia, into dictatorial eras, bad governance, concentration of public wealth and power into a select political and state elites, the weak or missing rule of law regime, and last but not the least, the misguided regional and foreign policies. All these factors have cumulatively turned many a gullible, brainwashed or economically helpless folk into the ‘pawns and proxies’ of their local and foreign handlers.

I, therefore, absolutely disagree with this naïve idea of reforming these terrorists (and misguided folks) using a doze of mystical indoctrination, and that from the podium of the fashionable, extravagant, and utterly “anti-mystical” congregations!!!

Therefore, even if a single penny is being spent on this so-called Sofi Conference from our public exchequer, then I vehemently condemn it. And I call upon all my conscientious friends to show their disapproval of such imperious and wasteful exercise of power by our public and political representatives.

We should all in our small or big ways must protest and bring as much pressure as possible upon the public representatives and the Organizers to account for the public money ( if spent) on this extravaganza!!!

 

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