spot the mountains

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It’s painful to see Islamabad like this. It has been violated, torn up without mercy, metal rods protruding from its spine.

This is the metal, they say, for which the Sharif government sold the city. And shut its eyes and ears to anything but the assurance: “This is progress. For the public.” Massive public works from public funds, to create subsidised public transport.

We could attempt a cost benefit analysis, and compare the investment to alternative forms of development (factoring in what we can euphemistically call “leakages”).But not today. We won’t talk about the merits of using existing infrastructure, or even of keeping new features built by previous governments. All I can see, while honking my way through dusty traffic jams, is a city whose spirit will never be the same.

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