Inflation crushing people, says PML-N’s Nehal Hashmi
KARACHI: Nehal Hashmi is a renowned criminal defence lawyer, former Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senator and former PML-N Sindh general secretary.
He also previously served as adviser to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
In his early days as a lawyer, he was known for filing petitions on social and public issues in the country, which earned him the title of ‘Mr Petitioner’ amongst the public.
He had been associated with some of the most prominent court cases including the Murtaza Bhutto tribunal and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) case against ex-premier Nawaz Sharif in 1999.
Speaking to Bol News on a plethora of issues facing our country, Mr Hashmi said: “Inflation is a pressing problem for the people today. I do not know how common people exactly think and feel about their economic situation nowadays, but I am hearing the voices of the collective, the deprived classes and the systemic oppression they [are] confronted [with] every day.
Here are excerpts from his interview.
Q – What is the real problem of today’s megacity?
In the megacity of Karachi, people of lower middle class background have been living in the worst circumstances. Due to economic uncertainty, we are experiencing that people, mostly from the lower middle class, are fulfilling their dietary needs at welfare organisations including Chhipa and Saylani. The unfortunate part is that these people relying on the welfare organisations are actually mostly white-collar workers who expended all their money to pay utility bills. Even vegetables are beyond the reach of common people. The prices of essential vegetables have reached Rs150. The water of cosmopolitan areas has been contaminated and there are a large numbers of patients in hospitals. No one here is ready to help them. All the education systems have been ruined. Encroachment of public spaces has become a contested issue. The transport system is on verge of collapse. To be honest, the ruling parties of Sindh including Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) apparently have no interest in serving the people.
Q – If PML-N wins the local government elections, what, in your opinion, should they do for the betterment of the metropolis?
PML-N has a comprehensive plan to sort out the city’s problems like the Daanish schools model in Punjab. My party will provide the best quality education throughout Sindh as we did in Punjab and some parts of Balochistan. We are helpless due to the 18th Amendment as education and health became provincial subjects and when we were in power from 2013-2018, the federal government was unable to make decisions over matters that were entirely provincial subjects. We will provide clean drinking water, develop city infrastructure and provide quality health services. Believe me, we have a good plan to serve the people and I am sure the people also think about how things have been under PPP or MQM. Now, I recommend the people that they give a chance to PML-N.
Q – Why was PML-N never able to form a government in Sindh?
In our political culture, none of us are angels and so we have made mistakes. However, people of Sindh also bear responsibility for the failure of PML-N government in centre. The PPP and MQM representatives were chosen on the basis of ethnicity and this, I believe, is the failure of the people’s judgment. They gave the vote to MQM and PPP lawmakers who eventually ruined the life of the common people of Sindh. Nepotism prevails in Sindh. I urge the people of Sindh that they should not elect people on the basis of language and caste. We are a country and the people of Sindh must choose their leaders wisely so that the elected representatives would be able to serve them.
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