Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Sindh's Place Under the Sun

July 28, 2007

Dear Friends

I was just listening to a lecture about Korea and its place under the sun. As we all know, there are two Koreas. One of them is South Korea which is a very developed and further developing country. Its technology and standard of living matches that of many parts of europe. Another part of Korea is in a much worse shape. But it may begin to change too.

It made me think about our Sindh and its place under the sun. Again, there are two Sindhs. Karachi is capital of Sindh. It has many problems but is far ahead of the second Sindh which is rural Sindh.

Let us go back a step. "Under the sun", we have USA and Europe who are not only developed but are further developing in every conceivable area of science, technology, living standard etc. Then we have Russia who is coming back in every possible way principally thanks to high prices and income from oil and gas. Then we have Japan, China, Korea, Singapore who are doing well for their people. Even places like Brazil, Mexico, Turkey are moving foward.

Getting closer to Sindh under the sun, we begin to see a different world. We have India which still has a lot of poverty and human misery but it is developing fast with a lot of hope in future. We have oil rich arabs who are enjoying all comforts of the developed world but are faced with enormous unstability and potential wars and disaster.

Coming down from the sun, as we approach Pakistan, we see pockets of significant development such as Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad. But the country also faces huge unstability and potential civil and international wars. The future is less than bright.

As we approach rural Sindh, we see 20% people having a reasonable living. But 80% are drowned in misery. Is there a future for this place? "NO" if the current trends in terms of political and economic discrimination, ethnic war, lack of water, lack of law and order etc continue.

"YES", there is bright future if we can change the current trends. If we can become a part of political detente and understanding, if we can learn to use ethnic diversity to our advantage; if we can learn to make a better use of availabale water; if we can solve law and order problem etc. Yes, none of that is easy. We hope that our discontent and our political agitation will persude some one else to come and solve our problems. It has not happened so far and is not likely to happen soon.

What will be sindh's place under the sun 20 years from now? For example, our whole coast can be like Dubai -- very developed and prosperous with higher incomes spreading to all parts of interior. Or it could be much worse than it is today. Some one has to make right choices.

Your input and help towards development of Sindh is always welcome.

Ali Nawaz Memon

Sindh Development Institute

7204 Antares Drive Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA 20879


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