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Needed selfless saints in the economy

Saints are supposed to be selfless. That statement has a presumption of truth in it. The reverse has to be proved. The elections and Jambooriat not jamhooriyat has won. Now everything will be just fine. But what is jambooriat and jamhooriyat is still to be determined in economic terms. Without doubt, N group has in the person of Sartaj Aziz, Ishaq Dar and Chaudhry Nisar a team that is capable with the first named having his credentials established. His renditions always seem plausible. Some of them are but the ground conditions that he knew so well in earlier days have now changed. He may have to learn his ground sums all over again. I always used to call him the finest Finance Agriculture Minister, for he could play the opposites well and to the benefit of all. He could fuse the two subjects as only he could. Having said this there has to be caution in the system.

The flies will be all around him to seek benefits. Can there be any selfless saint in the system and such that can work the sums that this country requires? We have already seen some anchors speak about barkhurdars role in demolishing their elders. Yousuf Raza Gilani seems to be the only one to try and change their interventions; to no avail. The others in power will now be under scrutiny. Time is of no consequence in sorting these siblings. They will all meet their fate according to their actions. Whether they are selfless or selfish will be perceived by the people.

The government in Pakistan is already of leviathan proportions. Work ethic is low and rewards and punishments are not based on work abilities but on cronyism. The bureaucracy is no longer what it used to be as it has been overtaken by the abuse that has been foisted by the politicians. The favourite flogging horse of the politicians is the bureaucracy. This generic word has come to mean what is most absurd in Pakistani society. Eventually the countryside will catch up with the politicians. The new game is either deliver or face the consequence[s]. At the moment it is honeymoon period and there is much vowing and pledging. What for? Get on with it. The electronic media for want of imagination merely describe in a lackluster manner the election and selection process. Fair enough.

What then is the secret system of providing a stable and prosperous country? That means that a prosperous country needs stable and new institutions. Can the imagination be fertile enough to have a stable government? That is where the other political players come into play. Will they or won’t they be in public service or will they be in personal benefits. Mere exhortation will not do for that will fall on deaf ears. If we look at the log list of crimes perpetuated in the name of politics we will have to come to an irresistible conclusion that we have not been fair to the people of Pakistan. When there are economic failures then crimes against property increase and the general inflation level is an indicator of the success or failure of these economic policies. When there is social exclusion then crimes against body will increase. The social exclusion of Balochis, the social exclusion of Fata and the peripheral areas of Pakistan are a testimony to what I have stated before and that time and again these areas will be a sore point and will destabilise society. Pakistan’s track record so far as societal building blocks are concerned is unenviable. It does not have the social engineers to engineer such blocks as are invisible for they take a lot of expertise to determine. The other is the ostrich-like expertise that one sees-bury one’s head in the sand and hope for the best.

What is the logic of economic reasoning? What is the adducement of past experience so far as economics is concerned? The past will have to go but after a thorough post mortem. The logic of prices, of inflation and of unemployment are aspects that will have an immediate bearing on the governance of this country. There is shortage of belief and the paradox is that against reality how one believes the rhetoric of the incoming government.

Where is Pakistan going to get its foreign exchange? Can it limit its exports to engineering goods or shall they look for other areas for diversification? In time, they will find that they cannot export any agricultural commodity. Then what? Which countries have successfully survived the West’s onslaught? Iran and China come to the mind as nations that have prospered due to the embargoes that were forced on them. China has now won acclaim from the USA that now has evidence that it lifted 600 million people out of poverty. The WB confirms this data. Can we then develop our own systems according to our culture? Can we have democracy that suits us? China’s culture has been election by selection. It is neat and clean and it takes into critical analysis of those it considers for its leadership position.

Pakistan is in a troubled mode and make no mistake no one is going to help Pakistan unless it develops a singularly efficient aspect in whatever it does. The issue that really confront the politicians is their bloated egos despite their obsolete knowledge. The energy crisis has been caused by engineers. The suggestion that we can get out of our dilemmas through technology is not only far-fetched but also outlandish. Technology is to be harnessed by man and not ride roughshod over the nation. Talk of DSD or KBD (two mega dams) is hogwash. The cost is so exorbitant and the gains are minimal. They talk of hydel unit of electricity that will cost 9 rupees. Forget it? Want a bet? This is for the politicians to fall into the clutches of the technical people.

We cannot do any thing right? Our control of the frontline government personal is abysmal. The patwari, the policeman and what have you as first base are baseless. Heaven help this nation is oft-repeated in educated circles. Well why the educated not go into action and do the small jobs well. The big jobs are anyway beyond the capacity of these people. As one considers the political scene there is no doubt in my mind that the scenario will play itself out economically in the next three months. What now that the elections have been held. Lenin when the revolution was successful went to the Moscow railway station where the party men were sleeping. He whipped them to life and made the statement that ‘wake up now that you are free start to work extra hard’. Who is going to whip this generation of degenerates? The attitudes and values of the powerful are in multiple matrimony contracts. That is they are involved in satisfaction of primary desires. There is much to do. Do it.

Dr. Zafar Altaf, "Needed selfless saints in the economy," Business recorder. 2013-06-08.
Keywords: Economics , Foreign exchange-Pakistan , Economic policies , Political leaders , Pakistan- Government , Politicians , Agriculture , Politics , Bureaucracy , Saints , Chaudhry Nisar , Pakistan