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Fighting The Sugar Mafia

By: Javed Chaudhry

Every event that happens in our lives has various aspects to it. One aspect of the invasion of Muhammad Bin Qasim at Deebal (near present-day Bhambore) is that Hajjaz bin Yusuf had sent an army, under Qasim’s command, to help and free Muslim pilgrims captured in territory under Raja Dahir’s control. But there is another important aspect to all of this as well. Muslims were a rising power in those days and were trying to spread their influence to Asia, Africa and even Europe. However, in this they couldn’t afford to let even a small ruler like Raja Dahir plunder Muslim ships and enslave Muslim women and children because that would put the writ of the whole Muslim state at peril.

States rarely get the chance to fight big adversaries like Alexander the Great but small rulers like Raja Dahir provide them an easy opportunity to establish their writ. With this in mind, one should look at present day Pakistan and, in particular, the unfolding sugar crisis.
Some years ago, a situation arose whereby it became known that some federal ministers, including then federal minister for industries and production, had hoarded large amounts of sugar. As a result, the price of sugar began to rise. Eventually, the Supreme Court stepped in and ordered the government to ensure the supply of sugar at Rs40 per kilo. But the crisis didn’t end.

Meanwhile, the then finance minister said something to the effect that the sugar thieves were sitting in the cabinet and had earned Rs25 billion as a result of this manipulated crisis. One may blame Shaukat Tareen for many things but his honesty and courage cannot be questioned.
The sugar mafia forms part of our parliament since most of the 82 sugar mills in the country are owned by politicians. Therefore, the government was unable to control the sugar crisis. This, in turn, encouraged small thieves, hoarders and profiteers. The result is that sugar is now being sold at Rs130 per kilo.

If the government were a little wiser, it would use the sugar crisis to increase its goodwill and establish its writ. It could initiate a crackdown against all criminals involved, publish the names of powerful sugar mills owners (and this includes several ministers and senior politicians) and arrest the hoarders. It should also have promptly arranged for the import of sugar, so that increased supply would have led to a fall in prices — but it failed to do any of this.

People are now saying that a government that cannot do small things like provide sugar to its people is unlikely to solve big problems. Our government is preparing itself to fight the Alexanders of the world but doesn’t want to fight the Raja Dahirs that make up the sugar mafia. Why?

Published in The Express Tribune, November 14th, 2010.


  1. Majority of Pakistanis hate the mafia groups from the core of their hearts.This hate is further aggravating and going to blast now.Unless people come out in streets to catch and punish and break these mafia groups there will be no change in Pakistan.People will have to come out of their homes and to punish these mafias like the people of France did.

  2. There are other mafias exist in Pakistan.
    These are
    >land mafia,
    >education mafia,
    >health mafia,
    >justice mafia,
    >newly established hen mafia in Lahore (Check the hen prices before and after Eid-ul-Fitr and find the name of mafia group who raised the prices from Rs.120/kg to Rs.260/Kg.In Middle east and Europe the prices of essential commodities remain fixed for many years.But here in Pakistan all these mafia groups are earning billions of rupees by sudden raising of prices of essential commodities.They have abducted eighteen crore Pakistanis.Lets boycott certain items one by one,each item for fifteen days.Also lets promise not to help the mafias to export these items.
    >Together we must fight against these mafia.

  3. Dear Javed Bhai…Come to the point….”QAID KI TALAASH” or a vision for sustainable development of Physical and Social infrastructure of the Country…Lets think of a Practical Model System and not just issues………………………..

  4. The Govt itself is Raja dahir.

  5. Sugar affects the human body in many ways. Some of these ways are good, some bad and some of the affects are very ugly. Energy created from sugar ingested into the body is one of the good ones. Humans need energy to function and the best sugars for this are ones listed on the glycemic index with a low rating. These sugars are let into the blood stream at a slower absorption rate which is healthy for the human body.
    The bad and ugly news associated with sugars is that most are processed into all kinds of foods humans eat. These sugars often carry a high glycemic index rating which means that the sugars are absorbed into the bloodstream faster. This causes the pancreas (the organ which maintains sugar levels in the body) to give off insulin. Insulin is used to drop the blood-sugar levels in the body. Not only does this fluctuation in blood-sugar levels put stress on the human body but it also can lead to diabetes, increased chance of coronary disease and also interfere with the absorption of calcium and magnesium into the human body.

    Read more: How Does Sugar Affect the Human Body? | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how-does_4728406_sugar-affect-human-body.html#ixzz15djur6dl

  6. Assalaam o alaikum,
    Azhad afsos ke saath ke hum pakistani hain, aaj tak aik qoum nahin ban sake . hum mein se taqreeban har banda bilwasta ya bila wasta corrupt hai , koi jaiz kamon keliye rishwat deta hai to koi najaiz kamon ke liye. jaiz kaam mushkil se hota hai aur najaiz bahut asani se . hum ne aaj tak apne aap ki tashee to ki nahin poora mulk kaise sahee ho? kaash koi aake humain khwab e ghaflat se jaga de. Aamin

  7. good sir g keep it up .

  8. Dear sir,
    Only the forces of Hjjaj Bin Yousaf could fight against Raja Dahir. Here the situation is different. The Government is itself of Raja Dahir’s. This scenario cannot be compared with past, or present. We should not blame the external forces. We should ourselves put the system right. Through revolution or evolution. People have to see the truth and elect those who can deliver. Not those who bribe them on the day of voting and then join the plundering fields. Media in this regard is doing a great job. Next in line are the youth who can force a postive change in the country.
    Regards, Majid

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