Raising Her Voice

Empowering women to engage effectively in governance

1 Billion Rupees for Flood Relief - not Monument

To: Pakistan Government & Supreme Court of Pakistan
It has come to the attention of the people of Pakistan that a plan has been approved by the Government for the construction of a monument in Islamabad for our former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. It has also come to the attention of the people of Pakistan that the overall cost of this monument will be close to Rs.1 Billion.

We, the people of Pakistan, hereby state that we expressly and unequivocally oppose this plan.

Our country is currently suffering the greatest natural disaster in its history, and over 21.6 million of our fellow countrymen, are displaced from their homes and suffering in the worst of conditions – watching their loved ones die in their arms from either disease or malnutrition, whichever evil hits them first. These people need food, they need clean water, they need their homes to be rebuilt, their schools to be rebuilt, their lives to be rebuilt. Over one fifth of our country has been submerged in flood water, which shows no abating, and the damage to our land and infrastructure is immense, with bridges and roads having been washed away.

Whether Pakistan will fully be able to recover from this disaster is something we do not know, but we do know this, that to rebuild our country we will need money, and lots of it.

We, the people of Pakistan hereby state that the spending of Rs.1 Billion of our money on a monument at this time, is clearly inappropriate, and is actually an insult to our 21.6 million fellow countrymen when we should be using all our country’s resources to help them.

Therefore, we the people of Pakistan demand that the Government should use this Rs.1 Billion to save our country and help our people with each of the above tasks, as opposed to being used for a monument which may look beautiful but will help nobody. Our priority should be our people who are suffering, and we are almost sure that our former Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, who loved this country and its people, would also agree.

We, the people of Pakistan, would like to request our Government, for once, to please put the lives of our people above everything else. It is our people who repeatedly suffer and suffer. Enough is enough.

We, the people of Pakistan, want a Pakistan in which we all can live well and we can all have a chance of a good life. We want a change in the politics of our country – we want Pakistan to be for each and every Pakistani, not just for a few of us.

We hope and pray that this democratically elected Government will this time listen to the wishes of over 180 million people, because, after all, that is what a democracy is all about.




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