Pakistan is an agriculture based country blessed with land enriched with natural resources; Punjab has fertile lands and Baluchistan is full of rich minerals and precious stones and gas resources. Pakistan has 97 % Muslims, for whom Zakat is mandatory, as it is a very important part of the religion. We all talk of Islam being a way of life, but as it has never been seen in practice, we forget what a wonderful ‘Deen’ we have. If it was properly administered there would be no poor. A Muslim is supposed to share his wealth with the poor but in reality 40% are living below the poverty line. Wealth distribution is unbalanced, some have too much and some not even enough for a meal a day.

Not so very long ago a Pakistani could proudly have said, while drawing a comparison with India, where millions slept hungry, that no-one in his country went to bed with an empty stomach. But this is no more the case. The increase in the price of goods use and static income has combined to spread hunger, which now affects a large segment of our society and if one were to add the growing incidence of unemployment the picture would become starker.

Muhammad Ali Jinnah had wanted this to be a welfare state, an Islamic state. However, the rulers who followed wanted personal wealth and did not want to share it with the poor. If this had really been an Islamic state the situation would have improved, rather than deteriorate, as we have seen. There would have been a welfare program, funded by Zakat for everyone and free education, but it did not suite the rulers to educate the masses so nothing has been done.

MARYUM TAJ,

Islamabad, December 24.