July 30 (www.pakdestiny) LAST month, PPP MNA Shazia Marri had said in the National Assembly that a PML-N leader, whom she didn’t name, wore a watch costing $4.6 million, which is nearly Rs450 million (June 18).
Now, from Iqbal Ismail’s letter, ‘Our turn next’ (July 14), it was revealed that it is Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who owns the chronometer.
A writer from Karachi writes in Dawn’s ‘Letter to Editor’ — Our leaders tend to speak a lot about the poverty and suffering of fellow Pakistanis, the need for ending corruption and so on. But their hearts seemingly remain preoccupied with matters of self-interest and self-projection.
A couple of years back there was an article which began by quoting one of Islamic history’s earlier caliphs, Hazrat Umer bin Abdul Aziz, who had said: “Wealth and a caliph can’t stay under one roof.”
Next, the writer gave the example of Jose Mujica, who became the president of Uruguay in Jan 2010. At that time, his country was amongst the most corrupt in the world. But in just two-and-a-half years, he, along with his team, which included his senator wife, managed to wipe out the corruption. The president was entitled to a salary of $12,500, but he draws only one-tenth. He still drives his 1987 model car and has no bodyguards or protocol. Needless to say, he and his wife donate the rest of their salaries to welfare organisations.
Closer to home, we have the examples of our first prime minister Liaquat Ali Khan and India’s second, Lal Bahadur Shastri, both of whom left almost no money in their bank accounts at the time of their death.
Apart from that, the world’s richest man, Bill Gates, and his wife have pledged to spend all their money on philanthropic work during their lifetime.
I am quite sure even Mr Gates wouldn’t be wearing a watch as expensive as Mr Sharif’s even though the former is living in the world’s richest country.
Given the extent of heart-rending poverty in Pakistan, where people are forced to commit suicide, sometimes after killing their family or selling off their children, at least a person like me couldn’t live with his conscience by spending so much money on luxuries, even if I had been the richest man on earth.
All my life I had been a Muslim Leaguer at heart and had even written letters of congratulations both times that Mr Sharif became the prime minister which got acknowledged and are still with me. But this time I voted for some other party. He should realise that by wearing the most expensive accessories, he can’t become more worthy of respect than the two premiers mentioned above or even Bill Gates. Sincerity demands that he start living like a humble Pakistani and inculcate a Sufi’s heart, not just rhetoric. – Pak Destiny