In matters that are economic, financial or commercial, or in any way connected with trade and industry, the word ‘interest’ means the extra money that we pay back when we borrow money from someone, that is, we pay interest on a loan.
How much ‘interest’ in billions have we paid to foreign lenders so far and how much we’ve yet to pay to loan sharks is a big question lurking in the people’s mind. Experts say every newly born Pakistani child carries an ‘interest’ burden of at least Rs125,000 over his/her head.
Interest also means benefit, for instance, to look after one’s interests, or use one’s interest with any institution or any person or group of persons in power. A notable example of such an activity has been set by so-called politicians of self-interest over the years. Who suffers socially and economically from such governance? Obviously, the sufferers are the masses who have no voice in what has been branded a coward parliament. Will any of the elected assemblies bounce back like a brawny assembly of people’s real representatives to solve the social and economic problems of the common man? If something happens in such a rightly positive direction that will be in what is called national interest.
“What have we gained and what have we lost over the years? And where will our doings of today lead us to? Who will free our motherland from the conspiratorial cobweb woven around it by other countries by way of striking at its socio-economic and defence capabilities?” These are some of the questions arising in people’s minds for the last 30 years.
The common man says patriotism is not the monopoly of so-called politicians who manage to come to power. Most of them assert “politics is our profession.”
So, one can say a consensus has developed among the masses that it’s the self-interest which is eroding society.
Interaction with hundreds of thousands who travel by Pakistan Railways revealed that ‘soach ka rishta’ (ideological relationship) is taking shape because the story of the exploitation of the masses is the one and the same everywhere. There are hundreds of thousands of educated youth in Baluchistan, Sindh, Punjab and Federal Capital Territory, who are jobless.
A rickshaw or a taxi-cab driver or a bus conductor, a small shopkeeper or a tea vendor, whoever it may be, blames the so-called people’s representatives for not doing anything concrete against surging food price.
“All of them are selfish, they remain silent over the common man’s social, economic, educational and health problems, their politics revolves round acquisition of position and privilege and ministry, lucrative jobs for their relatives, and free travels abroad,” say the voters.
“How we can look to the future with robust confidence when we ourselves, our leaders and our representatives relax and fritter away energies in internal dissensions.”