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Changing gears in political economics

I see a lot of troubles for our elected (or non-elected) representatives with a change in government and I see this from the assets that they have filed to the ECP and in their own handwriting. The only time that we had a writing expert in Pakistan was a Barnes who would have said that the handwriting belonged to someone in the primary classes. The pen is not firm enough and it seems that a fly dipped in ink somehow managed to scrawl some figures on a piece of paper. Spellings are atrocious and even simple spelling like cousins is spelt as cosin.

Nevertheless this cosin gave a loan of 4 crores to the cosin elected. Where did the cosin get this much of spare money remains a puzzle? The FBR has not checked and how could they, for the people posted there are for this very purpose. Kakacracy and not bureaucracy is available there? The other day I saw Mothercare milk bottles and soothers going to this office and would you believe it the office is situated on Constitution Avenue. The E. Politician, to give only one example started as a pauper and now has assets worth billions and he is now one of the renowned land mafia in Lahore Cantt. He was once a tout of the Lambadar and carried purchies for him of land files of the area. His one year of profit is over one crore of rupees if assets year on year are examined. Sooner or later some Mughal-minded will have these assets verified and examined. So the sooner these documents are opened the better it will be for the clients and the FBR. That aside for catching thieves in Pakistan is not easy and anyway there are hardly any in that category anymore. They have gone up a notch or two.

Economic social justice is different from household economics. It concerns the society at large. But Pakistan is not bothered. The rich have no need for the middle class and the poor see the middle class as a burden. There is no public tribunal that could oversee this. All assets are created as a result of political economy but if the fairness of these assets distributions are questioned then it is only a question of time that all hell would break loose. The anchors have it all cynically wrong. Everyone has a right to make assertions that are within the ambit of rules and regulations and does not violate the law and order in the country. But the anchors can get away with anything.

But all these selective asset formation without hard work should have come to an end at partition when the seizing of assets owned by Hindus were taken over by influential Muslims. Obtaining assets without hard work is a bad option. That bad option continues to this day and now-a-days this is mafia work. What is the debt of our politicians towards our fellow citizens? Ask them and you will draw a blank. I know most of them and I feel that they are under some stress from their party not to be rational but to put reason to the sword. Loyalty and misplaced loyalty seems to have eaten the best in us. Is there a debt to the IDPs? There is and we have to be at our best on the ground for they are bearing the brunt of our previous and present governments’ stupidities. Have we met all their necessities? Will those that are asserting what they are asserting show their skills at living where the IDPs are living? Does the average Pakistani have the right to do what they want to do with their assets – fair or ill-gotten? The answer in civilised societies is no. In the world of reason there is strictly nothing that we own. Pakistan has yet to realise what is political and what is moral duty? But there is no one on the subcontinent that can analyse our moral duties and how they impact on general welfare and the culture of a nation? Do we have the moral strength and the power of reason to make moral duties effective? Can we keep on taking dictations from the West and mechanically keep on implementing them? Is our vision constrained and if so is it constrained by our hate and our prejudices? Is justice a process or is it the end result? Will Model Town [MT] justice result from a process or from the results that come forward? How many elite force members does one need to flush out two young men alleged to have been terrorists? My information is different. They do not breed terrorists in Okara and Pakpattan. Come on and come off that high rope for it might find a loop around our necks at some time or the other.

If generation of economic activity is to be one of the achievable goals of the state then what is required to instill confidence in the people who are willing to come here for investment? Bland statements are not enough? The low credibility of the government is now being superimposed on the state. Questions as to state functions and institutions are being raised albeit without the sacred knowledge of these institutions.

After Second World War three major nations carried out a social audit and dependent on the works of their theorists carried out serious reforms on equity and equality of conditions. In UK the work of Tawny was implemented by the labour government that won power immediately after the war; in Germany the team of Adenaur and Erhard-Chancellor and finance minister implemented the works of Ropke and his book that contained works appropriately entitled ‘The Humane Economics’; in Japan the team was rather interesting and consisted of General Macarthur and PM Yoshida. What was common in all these nations was the deterioration in social conditions due to war. Then is it necessary that humans will only understand what is to be done after the situation has gone so bad? The Japanese based their efforts on the Meiji revolution and its principles. So there was a philosophical underpinning to the three efforts that I have mentioned above. Are humane efforts to help the distressed really in the private domain? Nations that are expanding in economic activity would say so? Nations that are in the restrictive economic activity would rather bypass the suggestion; for they are unable to handle the situation and expand the economy. There is no shortage of ‘experts’ that provide opinions by the dime. They have never been held to be accountable. The experts are poor at discussing social intangibles. Yet in life there is anything but direct one to one aspects. A handful of individuals even if they have made assets with hard work still have to consider those that have not had the opportunity. Who knows what they would achieve given the opportunity? Were they not uncut diamonds? Tawny’s equality of conditions then assumes some importance. Philosophical reason has come to assume some relevance.

These entrepreneurial schemes that we have launched are meaningless. Time will tell. Gimmickry and trickery are not valid options anymore in an age of IT.

The structure of public service has been badly mauled. Any action that is used as a political gimmick will eventually fail. The fault does not lie in the economic systems but in the behaviour of our elected representatives. They have to exercise some restraints so that justice prevails not only in the process but in the end results.

Zafar Altaf, "Changing gears in political economics," Business recorder. 2014-07-26.
Keywords: Economics , Economic issues , Economic system , Economic policy , Economic growth , Economy-Pakistan , Political issues , Pakistan , FBR