It is the Stock Exchange for the time being
Yesterday’s situation in Pakistan’s stock exchanges was no different from each day during the last four months that saw the markets plunge consistently resulting in the main Karachi bourse losing more than 30% of its value.
Angry small investors went on rampage in the Karachi Stock Exchange demanding the closure of market for a few days to curb its slide. Scenes were a bit calmer in Lahore where a crowd protested outside the Lahore Stock Exchange building by burning tires and shouting slogans against the regulators and the big players.
This grim situation follows the failure of the new coalition government in tackling rising food & oil prices, electricity shortages and burgeoning trade & budget deficits triggering mindless inflation and depreciating the Pakistani Rupee to record lows against the US Dollar.
All this is happening when the country is facing a huge security threat on its western borders from the militants and NATO forces as its cities are no better safe from street-crimes, robberies and bomb blasts. Amidst all this lawlessness and chaos, our leaders seem to be least concerned when they are visiting their ‘families’ abroad leaving no person of strength and character in authority behind in the country.
I’ve never beeen pessimistic about my country’s situation but this has to be sorted. People in authority need, I repeat, desperately need to become serious in tackling the country’s problems. People in the north-west are Pakistanis, they need to be heard not bombarded upon; Balochistan deserves its gas-royalties and Sui itself should be supplied with gas; Thar coal should be exploited to create a mega-pool of electricity supply which can provide at least 20,000 MW of electricity by using only 2% of the reserves over the next 20 years.
Forget the judges, forget the president, yes, I mean it! Focus on the core issues, the main problems of the masses and the industrialists alike for poverty can only be elevated if industry flourishes.
Bring peace, bring food, bring prosperity, bring unity – only this is what has elected you guys to the seats of power and the failure in bringing what will pull you down. We have seen the violence at the Stock Exchanges; I’m afraid it’s not that hard to imagine when it comes to the streets soon…