Destruction of a Lake
Fishing communities can no longer survive on Manchar Lake, Asia’s largest freshwater body, after a massive artificial drain has contaminated water and destroyed fish stocks.
Pakistan has a coastline of over 1,000 km, with beautiful virgin beaches. Instead of pursuing a “kill and dump” policy by the Establishment if these beaches are developed, the country can fetch millions of dollars in eco-tourism. Sri Lanka has focused on education and solely depends on tourism. Pakistan can replicate the Sri Lankan experience by providing basic good education to the impoverished Baluch and Sindhi youth. Education liberates and is reciprocal. While the student learns from the teacher, the teacher learns from the student.
Bad policies, greed and adherence to unscientific policies have badly damaged the image of Pakistan that once attracted tourists from across the world, whether it was in the serene desert of Tharparkar adjoining the Great Indian Desert of Rajasthan, along the Sindh-Balochistan coastal belt or in Dadu and Badin districts.
People live in fear while an inept bureaucracy, in connivance with donor agencies, is minting money. These bureaucrats have accumulated large sums of money through kickbacks and have no affinity with nature and the local populace. Bureaucratic capital is playing a big role in Pakistan’s ailing economy. The youth is desperate to find a livelihood and, in desperation, often resorts to violence that is not only harmful for their health but also for the society. Massive corruption is nibbling the very social fabric of Pakistani society.
Take the example of Manchar Lake. Located 18 kilometers west of Sehwan in Sindh’s Dadu district, some 300 kilometers north of Karachi, Manchar is a vast natural depression surrounded by the Kirthar Range hills in the West, the Lakki hills in the East and a flood embankment in the Northeast. It is Pakistan’s biggest freshwater lake; some even say it is Asia’s biggest lake, though that is debatable. But today it would be more apt to describe Manchar as a grim cesspool of agricultural effluents, including pesticides.