BEGINNING OF A NEW END – A new start on old habits

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Lahore – Citizens are bracing the New Year with a mixed feeling of enthusiasm and pessimism. While some are hoping for the fulfillment of many social and personal desires, other express a more practical approach towards the New Year and argue that all that is desirable may not exactly be attainable.
Citizens quarreled that 2010 was not the best of the years for them as they had to cope with multiple problems during the year. They said that the preceding year was not able to provide basic necessities like electricity, gas and even clean water. As far as developmental projects are concerned, the previous regime was much better and the current government was not able to materialize anything, many believe.
Ahsan Saleh, an entrepreneur, who almost went cynical remarking on 2011, said, “The situation will deteriorate this year as our economy is already facing severe problems, whereas electricity and gas shortage also exists and nobody is ready to answer our problems.”
City elderly, unsatisfied with the present, were found nostalgic on the arrival of the New Year and while reminiscing about the past desired for a similar future. They demanded to restore the ‘typical’ Lahore and said, “There was a time when Lahore was identified with greenery as parks adorned every nook and corner of the city, but now it seems that smoke and garbage has taken over.” They said that even though a project was going on to revamp the walled city in association with the World Bank, nobody is when will it complete. They said there were serious environmental issues in the city, but it was quite unfortunate that nobody bothered to take up the issue.
According to the public, projects like Ring Road and Multan Road were also moving slow, whereas no substantial project was initiated in the preceding year. They said that the noteworthy projects of the previous regime were stopped just because government can’t tolerate anyone else getting the credit.
Restaurant lovers of the city complained about the soaring rates and deteriorating food quality of the restaurants, they also criticized the introduction of western culture in the cafes. A food lover Ali Baig said that whenever he gets ill, doctor advised him to avoid eating from outside. He said there was a need to open good and hygienic restaurants.
Nadia, a housewife, said it was unfortunate that the current regime did not give any manifesto about the coming year. She said that the government should devise a plan to cope with the problems which country was facing.
Some people also lauded the role of law enforcement agencies in the last quarter of 2010. They said that even though the people of Lahore faced various terrorist attacks in the year but still the situation was improving in the last few months. They said that they have high hopes that the Punjab government will be able to make 2011 terrorism free, and that would definitely be a great gift to Punjabis.
Cricket lovers asked the Pakistan Cricket Board officials to take steps to bring back the game which lives in the heart of Pakistanis, cricket. They said there was lack of entertainment opportunities for the public, but when the international cricket teams refused to come to Pakistan, it added woes to the cricket lovers. They said that PCB chairman was busy for his survival and other petty issues and had no concern whatsoever about the fans. They said they would hope that international cricket will be revived in 2011, and they will want to see Shahid Afridi holding 2011 Cricket World Cup for the nation.
Some also demanded better health and education facilities. They said, “We witnessed extreme corruption in both public and services sector and situation is on the verge of destruction. We will have to get rid of corruption and the year 2011 should be named as the year of accountability.”



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