- Are we on a train to nowhere?
Circumstances suggest the international arena is threatened by WWIII but in Third World countries like Pakistan, an event of WWII is more applicable. The flight of the dollar, devaluation of the rupee, rise of circular debt and the lack of country’s resources are quite similar to WWII.
Towards the end of WWII, the German army was ordered to vacate France and the German Commander-in-Chief said, “France is out of our hands. While this is the entire truth, it’s also true that we might not be permitted to enter French territory for the next 50 years. Therefore, it is ordered that whatever you can strip from the Parisian museums, treasuries and cultural landmarks, go ahead.” They were also given the order to leave nothing but a burning Paris for when the French forces reclaimed their land.
Soldiers started ravaging the museums and robbed them of artefacts worth billions. It included the famous Mona Lisa, Van Gogh’s works, the Venus de Milo sculpture, in short the German soldiers spared nothing. When the museums and cultural complexes were emptied of their treasures, the chief asked the bounty loaded on a train to Germany.
The train left France but the engine broke down soon after. Engineers came to repair the engine and got the train running again. After travelling almost 10 km, the wheels got jammed. The engineers came again, and got the train going. Not so long after the train moved off, the train’s boiler burst and stopped the train. The engineers came yet again to restart the train.
If the initial pilot project has flopped then instead of chastising the doctor, the patient should be given to a decent physician so that the disease does not spread further. Mr Khan’s foremost responsibility should be saving the second pilot project from these suited impostors and traitors, or forget Naya Pakistan, nothing might be left of the Purana Pakistan either
However, as soon as the train started, the pressure pistons stopped functioning. The engineers had to repair the pistons to get the train moving. The train kept malfunctioning and the German engineers continued repairing it until France was restored to the French rulers and the train was still inside French territory. Despite the gravity of the situation, the train’s driver received the message, “The train will not go to Germany now; instead we’ll be heading back to Paris.” When the driver reached Paris, the entire leadership of France was waiting to welcome him. The driver was showered with flowers and a mike was thrust on him. He said, “Although these German fools filled the trains with French treasures, they forgot the driver was a Frenchman. And if the driver doesn’t want it, the car can never reach its destination.”
Similar is the case with our nation’s economy. When the national treasury is handed over to migratory birds and well-dressed American or European Mir Jafars and Mir Sadiqs, how can the train function at all? Moreover, this is the ‘pilot project’ of Naya Pakistan whose very vision was aimed at a tsunami of jobs in the country, the appreciation of Rupee, the inability of the dollar to fight the rupee, filling the national treasury, decreasing the circular debt and instilling trust in the citizens. However, the pilot project has thus far resulted in an alarming rise in the circular debt, the economy being on the brink of destruction, and the dollar soaring ever higher while the rupee is at its lowest value.
The promises of not doing something appear hollow. We were promised that we will not have to face the IMF but we are facing it yet again, and on quite demeaning terms too. We have even compromised so far as to make desired changes in the Cabinet and awarded positions to the favorite individuals. What is even worse is the impression that it was actually a deal of IMF with IMF; a tax amnesty scheme working along the lines of asset declaration was also introduced despite Imran Khan having spoken against it in the past.
Now the Prime Minister of Pakistan is the chief of this country and the drivers of this pilot project laden with countless bounties, though apparently Pakistani, are entirely unconcerned with Pakistan’s problems and needs. Whether it be Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Raza Baqir or Shabbar Zaidi, their sympathies lie not with Pakistan but with the international monetary organizations, international powers and technocrats. Consider this, now, that when the driver himself is not loyal to the passengers, how will they ever reach their desired destination? So, where are we headed now? Very soon the dollar will jump from 170 to 180 to the rupee and after the budget, there is a tsunami of inflation awaiting Pakistanis. An environment of uncertainty is such that investors wish to flee from Pakistan. The difference between the resources of Pakistan and Afghanistan is just $100 billion. The stock exchange exhibited a chaotic position at the start of the week and investors lost Rs 181 billion in just one day. Inflation has peaked to a point where everyday items have gotten out of the reach of the common citizen. Price of one roti has hiked from Rs seven to a whopping Rs 10. A 1.5 liter water bottle now costs Rs 60 and prices of medicines are a whole different matter!
It is true that Mr. Khan inherited a badly bruised economy. He should be given time to make it recover, but the adopted itinerary does set the tone for the future outcome. The pilot project of Naya Pakistan has flopped. The frequent changes in the Cabinet and the proposed changes at the whims of international powers are testament to the fact that the slogan of change has met its natural death. What’s left is the preservation of one’s own self and the ability to keep hold of the government. All efforts are targeted to these ends now. The country faces an economic emergency and if the masses are not given even a semblance of relief in the next budget, they will take to the streets. There will be rallies and protests
The country might have gone in complete loss by then. And maybe someone does wish the national situation takes such a turn. However, if the initial pilot project has flopped then instead of chastising the doctor, the patient should be given to a decent physician so that the disease does not spread further. Mr Khan’s foremost responsibility should be saving the second pilot project from these suited impostors and traitors, or forget Naya Pakistan, nothing might be left of the Purana Pakistan either!