Founding Editor: Shafqat Munir   

Living on the edge: whose fault is it after all? 

12 Julie 2010 11:42:45

Living on the edge: whose fault is it after all?

Aftab Alam

ISLAMABAD July 12, 2010: Living on the edge out of their own choice, these ‘sons of the soil’ cut a sorry figure for themselves, their families and friends, and indeed the entire nation as they ‘unwind’ under the influence of intoxication, totally oblivious of their shabby surroundings. 

These men do not have the courage to face the realities of life. Like pigeons, they have opted to shut their eyes on seeing the cat, little realising that man is the best of God’s creations and that he can be destroyed but not defeated.

Drug addiction is as old as human history; it may have emerged in different forms during different eras, but has been there all the while. Drugs are used under different pretexts; some use them for enjoyment while others do so to find an easy route to escapism. 

In Asia, and particularly in Pakistan, the menace of drug addiction is increasing with every passing day. More than 14 million Pakistanis are wasting billions of rupees annually to inhale poisonous drugs.

The scenario gets more horrific on the discovery that most of these addicts are adolescents and ensnared by drug traffickers at an early age. No one can deny the fact that youth is the most valuable asset of a nation, and that it is on the basis of their abilities and potential that a country’s progress depends. As such, the injection of poison in the veins of these young adults is synonymous to limiting the likelihood of our country’s development. These young people will grow up to become an ugly scar on the face of the nation. 

The accompanying photograph portrays an appalling manifestation of the aforementioned logic. All of them are dozing, with their eyes down. Their posture does have a symbolic significance: they are either ashamed of what they have made out of their lives or are angry with society, which has failed to fulfil its social responsibility of saving them from the brutal clutches of the drug agents who grabbed them when they were too young to understand what venom they were inhaling. 

These men showcase a perfect picture of typical Waste Landers, who are no more than heaps of bones and broken images. And instead of becoming a valuable human resource, they have been turned into an undying liability for the nation. Although the entire nation is responsible for their deplorable plight, yet no one cares. We do not even cast a passing glance as we walk past them.