Fueling the fire

Fueling the fire

In a wave of self-immolation cases that have recently swept around the world in the past year, a 35-year-old, father of two set himself on fire outside the parliament today.

The jobless Raja Khan from Naushero Feroz resigned to this act of desperation in his fight against poverty.

Reports stated he said: “I am fed up of poverty.”

One can barely imagine how oppressed and desperate he was to escape his situation that he actually attempted to burn himself alive. Self-immolations have played a part in political and social movements across the world. They are meant to be noticed, but do they actually have the impact on our government as one would expect?

Burning oneself alive, selling and killing children, turning to a life of crime are all examples of how the desolate are dealing with poverty. The government insists on completing its term and paving the path for a true democracy, however, it fails to acknowledge or understand that the common man’s first priority is having a roof over his head and food to feed his children.

The NGO’s and philanthropists can only do so much – it is the government’s duty to look after the welfare of its nation. People burning themselves out of desperation is proof enough that the government has failed in fulfilling its most basic duty.

Dawn.com invites its readers to give their views and suggestions.


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27 Responses to “Fueling the fire”

  1. YK says:

    I think it is more a “reasons of poverty” than “poverty” itself, when you are deprived due to natural calamities or due to some external enemies, you can tolerate. When your own leaders are reason for your trouble, corruption and terrorism have spoiled our industries, you just get mad.
    Yes, we have resources for having “useless” army and secret services, and for useless expenditures of our leaders but we cannot manage our resources to meet our people’s needs.

  2. ali says:

    First of all I express my deep condolence with the family of victim. I would just say that, the lose of human kind is not underestimated, and whatever the crises or problems he was facing, but setting oneself on fire was not the solution. Suicide is “Haram” in Islam. It is a surrender after losing the ability to face challenges, and man with power never surrenders before temporary unfavorable social or economic conditions. Famine in Africa is more dangerous comparing to the situation in our country, but I don’t think any of them will set himself on fire, there is not a single case of that kind of offense. The main problem from my point of view is the influx of illegal immigrants and trespassers into our country, they are from different countries. We need to keep our borders secure, strict and high alert, so that We can fight with over population, terrorism, insecurity and many other problems. That’s all what I wanted to say !

  3. Iftikhar says:

    Isn’t it Ironic, that a country which claims to be the first ‘Islamic Nuclear Power’, suffers from cronic power shortages, and pervasive load-shedding in every major city and town, for much of the day – winter or summer!?

  4. Sajawal says:

    Leave it to nature or stand up for revolution.

  5. Sharma Anil ( India ) says:

    The world is not poor, it is impoverished. There is enough to meet everyones needs. Unfortunately, the resources are pooled to meet the greed of a few. Victims of the world order deserves redressal of their grievances.

  6. Alex says:

    When he could not sustain himself why did he produce two children ? If the population is not curbed – the world will see innumerable such deaths. In the eastern India we have influx from Bangladeshis because due to unchecked polulation growth they have no option but to push into India – it is simply a question of survival.

  7. zafar jafri says:

    ……and still they say that ” ‘they’ dont join the armed forces and police service…”
    They kill themselves because they have no job but wouldnt join the ranks,hahaha.
    Hypocrisy at its highest. Change the system, not the faces.

    • sabih says:

      My dear sweet heart, you just spoke like the queen of France :”If they can’t buy bread, why dont they eat Cake?”

      We have age limits and reservation in the forces. It is meant for the tough people, not for the poor and aged man. Only young people are taken and this man was not a young man. Please read carefully.

  8. Mikal says:

    People always get the governments they deserve, we must remember that, and so it is with Pakistan that the darker side of that premise comes to light. As long as the people are willing to sit and endure the bombings, target killings, loadshedding, hate rhetoric, incompetence at the highest levels and more, and only complain, then, the status quo will only continue. The power riots recently in Punjab were one example of action, even though unnecessarily damaging, action nonetheless, let us hope that somewhere, somehow some beneficial action is stirring.

  9. Neo says:

    I think and believe that the unnecessary dispute with the neighboring enemy state has cost us much in terms of people and progress. Our country has spent billions of rupees on arms and ammo to fight a war that has not resulted in anything save anything good. those funds can be channeled to other resources.
    We always want to be number one but in the wrong list of priorities. Instead that budget can be used for the welfare and betterment of our own people including the arms forces personnel. When will be come out of this ‘army-with-a-country’ label.

    For GOD sake, keeping in view our population, we atleast should have a university which should be ranked in top 10 of the world. but No.

    • mehmoona says:

      agreed budget should be wisely allocated but the fact is that the percentage of the budget that is given to the army is mostly spent on the army while the rest of the alloted budgets just goes on to line the pockets of those in the power play while miniscule amounts trickle down to the departmental functions…hence the state of the different institutions

    • zeeshan says:

      Thank god that there are still people like @Neo in Pakistan. Till there are people like you , there is some hope for the coming generations.

  10. Asad Malik says:

    Do the millions of deprived people in Africa burn themselves alive? Do the thousands of refugees who have less to eat than the poorest of the poor in Pakistan resort to such tactics?

    I know we cannot understand what goes through their minds and I am not justifying this vile and corrupt government. I’m simply stating that there is always someone in the world who is worse off

    • Naeem Ahmed says:

      Yes Asad there are some people who are worse off but have you ever been in a position where youare unable to feed yourlself and your loved ones or provide them with shelter?

  11. Asad Malik says:

    Do the millions of depraved people in Africa burn themselves alive? Do the thousands of refugees who have less to eat than the poorest of the poor in Pakistan resort to such tactics?

    I know we cannot understand what goes through their minds and I am not justifying this vile and corrupt government. I’m simply stating that there is always someone in the world who is worse off

  12. Abbas, Karachi says:

    We want more nuclear bombs, we don’t need jobs. Please produce more terrorists. We want strategic depth…

  13. Ayasha says:

    Did your media cover this story? I ask because such a terrible thing and only one comment?

    Is this an example of a Pakistan that doesn’t want, or perhaps is afraid, to look at itself too closely?

  14. GJC says:

    Raja Khan’s case is tragic, and one worth the Pakistani government’s as well as the people’s serious attention. No too long ago a case of self-conflagration by an ordinary vendor in Tunisia led to mass demonstrations in that country. All the evidence is that this event then led to what came to be called the “Arab Spring.” I sincerely hope that Pakistan does not succumb to that fate. But I also sincerely hope that Pakistan’s government and people take a serious note of such events. Burning oneself or one’s family members, selling children, forcing children to work under horrific conditions, inflating commodity prices to unaffordable levels, and the like do not bode well for a nation that proudly marks itself as one founded in the name of Islam. Fixing social ills often requires dramatic actions. For Pakistan it is time to take such actions.

  15. sm says:

    So depressing….I wish we could help in some way? is there any way one could set up something to provide these people jobs? please give some ideas

  16. javed qamer says:

    Its frustrating to see the various functioneers preening and posturing while the government is in a melt down.
    I refuse to take their names because I do not want to dirty the paper.
    People, the government in power has come from the back door. They do not deserve to be at the helm of the ship. Their proper destination is jail.
    Wake up and rise against the tyrants.

    Javed Qamer

  17. AK says:

    The lack of comments on this article is an indicator of lack of sensitivity not just from Pakistani leaders but from Pakistani public. How many comments would have been there if this was about the opening partnership for the next cricket match? Maybe we get the leaders we deserve.

    • Cyrus Howell says:

      ” Democracy is the theory that the common man knows what he wants, and he deserves to get it good and hard.”

      H.L. Menken

      • YK says:

        There is feudalism not democracy in most of parts the country, people can only be blamed for keeping silence.

  18. Naveed says:

    It is important for the rulers only to fill their pockets… They cant earn money if they start taking notice of such incidents

  19. muhammad hasan says:

    burn the government not yourself!

  20. obaid says:

    feel sad to hear such terrible news but killing your self is not a solution , and government will play a role by giving a massive amount of 50 thousand and winning the sympathies .

    • Imran says:

      Very very sad. Why people of Pakistan do not understand that system has failed. Not because system is faulty, the very main reason is the people who are running it. Wolves under the skin of democracy. Eating Pakistanis alive.

      Wakeup call!

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