National Housing Shortfall and Mr. Prime Minister

Recent Panama scandal and the main personalities found guilty in hiding black money and tax evasion brought almost all of their assets before the public. Unfortunately PM of Pakistan is also among those. Although PM has refused and rejected all the charges and accusations against him in totality, but what Pakistani nationals are aware of now, is that the PM and his family have huge accumulation of wealth.
For one second if we accept the stance of Sharif family and PM particularly, there are still many facts in issue and need a clarification. We have a history of exemplary caliphate which includes big and respectable names of the Companions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Hazrat Ali (RA) Hazrat Abu Bakar Sadiq (RA), Hazrat Usman e Ghani (RA) is notable among all.
All of these Caliphs (Head of State) were well settled and sound before accepting the responsibility of caliphate, but as soon as they joined caliphate they were among those who lead a simple and down to earth life.
They bore that life style so that the most unprivileged one may not feel left alone. Moreover, they used and spend all of their assets for establishment of poor and unprivileged inhabitants.
The point I am making is that whether its concept of Islamic welfare state or a modern democracy, when it comes to supervising or running of a country as head of state, one is to keep the unprivileged and poor above of everything.
Mr. PM is having a Palace of 2500 Kanal in Raiwand-Lahore.With a National housing shortfall of 10 million/unit, It is a shocking lifestyle and in itself is subject to accountability.

I hope those with the right set of mind will eventually get my point here. So to ask questions and raise voice, Pakistani nation definitely needs not to make Panama leaks the only basis.
We being nation have become used to raise our voices under the political party’s Umbrella every time.
When it’s about national interest and most importantly, constitutional right, like any other nation, we need not to wait for ‘PTI’ ‘PPP’ or all divisions of PML (XYZ, or N). Doesn’t justify acorruption in the name of party support spirit. This is where we are opting downfall over progress.
Coming towards main topic of ‘concern’ here, ‘The national Housing Shortfall’.
According to World Bank’s Report, Pakistan faces severe housing shortage. Present housing shortfall in Pakistan is 10 million units and it is expected to double in coming one decade (including depletion of some of existing housing stock).
According to the latest stats, the total number of houses built every year in Pakistan are somewhere between 0.15 – 0.2 million, whereas we need 1.0 million new houses annually (0.7 million in population growth and 0.3 million for replacing old houses and to cover the existing shortage).
There are three main causes of housing shortage in Pakistan.
(1) Population Growth
Pakistan is among the countries with high birth rate as about 3 million babies are born each year in the country. Over the years, this growth has created a severe shortage of housing. The current population of Pakistan is about 200 million and it is expected to reach 240 million by 2025. With less than 0.2 million houses constructed every year, we are facing a deficit of 0.6 million. If things would go at the same pace, our total shortage of houses is expected to reach 20 million by 2025.
(2) Mortgage non-availability
Another reason for housing shortage is the unavailability of housing finance. Many banks in Pakistan to provide home loans, but these loans are available for upper middle-class or rich people for onlythose people belonging to higher social tiers can meet the strict loan conditions. For the lower middle-classor people with monthly income ranging between Rs. 10000 and Rs. 25000, there is hardly any loan option available. According to World Bank’s report, the housing-finance-to-GDP ratio in Pakistan is just 1%, whereas it is 7% in India and 50% in the rest of the developed world.
(3) Depletion of existing housing stocks
old. These houses have many structural, design and sanitation problems. Many houses are made of mud (mostly in villages) and are vulnerable to natural disasters like earthquake and the moon-soon rains. Many hazards have been noticed due to collapsed roofs during moon-soon season. These houses either need proper maintenance or replacement with new housing units with sound structures and modern amnesties.
Questions for Mr.Prime Minister!
1-Every night when you sleep in 2500 Kanal Palace , Do,for a single second ,you come across a thought, how many slums are in the country and how many of your citizens are sleeping under the open sky facing severe weather conditions?
2-Being PM of an Islamic Welfare State and Modern Democracy along-side having a glorious history of caliphate do you have a moral right to own that big palace?
3-Do you know how many homeless countrymen of yours can fit in 2500 Kanal area??
At least I don’t feel that I need Panama leaks as the only basis to ask you all these questions, neither all homeless countrymen of mine.
I don’t follow political parties and their so called agendas, I follow national interests. Do you follow the same Mr. PM??
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About Zarmina Siraj Ul Haq

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