Guest Post by Naeem Sadiq
The first accomplishment of our federal minister for post offices and defender of the belief that burying alive of Pakistani women is healthy for the society, was to place a half page coloured ad in all national newspapers (Dec 09, 2008).
The ad estimated to have deprived the national exchequer of Rs 2 million, must be preserved in the national museum for future generations to learn how our rulers wasted the tax payer’s money for their personal publicity. It has large portraits of Mr Zardari, the PM, Bilawal Zardari, and the minister himself. Ironically the heading under these pictures reads “The Nation’s Pride”. There are two yet more noble sounding clichés at the bottom ” Living for humanity, dying for peace”, which one finds very difficult to relate to this postal department ad.
The issue is not so much the absurdity of this ad. The issue is how our rulers use national resources to carry out personal image building. The ordinary people must increasingly demand that the government should not be allowed to place such wasteful newspaper ads. No pictures of government employees, politicians or their children should be a part of any ad made out of tax payers’ money. Specific and useful information to public should be the only reason why an ad may be placed by the government. A citizens’ committee should be appointed to report any ‘personal marketing’ and other unethical traces discovered in the government placed ads