The first step to achieving the goal

Where is the money to stay afloat going to come?

Without political stability in the country, the economy cannot improve nor is it possible to solve the problems that are becoming serious with each passing day, due to which the life of the common man is becoming miserable. So, our political leadership must emphasize the need for political stability day by day but they do not take into account what is their own role for political stability. On the one hand, the Tehreek-e-Insaf leadership is continuously pointing out the risk of 80 percent, of Pakistan defaulting; on the other hand, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar claims that there is no risk of default of the country, all international payments have been arranged for one year and people should not listen to rumours. Whether people are paying attention to these rumours or not, the conditions of the country are not improving.

It is beyond the understanding of the general public as to whom the Finance Minister is telling the rumours. People have been hearing such rumours for the last 20 years, that Pakistan has embarked on the path of development and prosperity and will emerge as a strong economic power soon. The country will not need loans and will not have to borrow money from others, instead people from all over the world will come here to study and work. The nation has always believed in these claims but none of them have been fulfilled. All the claims and promises have remained the same, if viewed from a literal and academic point of view, all these claims are rumours and the political leadership has fooled the people by spreading such rumours for their own benefit.

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In every period of power, the government and the opposition leadership make such a spectacle through their rhetoric and later object. Similarly in the current time, objections are being raised by putting a show in front of the public and the government is making a show of the announcements of development in the country while the PTI leadership is showing the spectacle of the country becoming Sri Lanka, defaulting or turning into a banana republic. Pakistan was developing rapidly during the PTI era and has started to collapse as soon as the PTI government fell, but in the eyes of those who expelled the previous government, Pakistan is on the path of economic development.

If the coalition government is terminated in the next few weeks, the allies will also see Pakistan sinking and defaulting. Surprisingly, the political leadership sees everything good in the House of Power and everything outside the House of Power as bad.

How long will this stupidity continue and how long will the entire burden of loans and interest continue to be put on the people? The political leaders coming to power are taking loans on the one hand and on the other hand they are preaching self-reliance, but they are not ready to act on it themselves. Thus, taking the first step towards the goal of self-reliance is difficult, as soon as this first step is taken, the goal will become easier.

The fact cannot be denied that the conditions have never been favourable for the country and the people in every period of power, and the entire responsibility for this lies on the political leadership; but instead of being ashamed of mere shortcomings and incompetence, the political leadership has been demonstrating stubbornness. It is the misfortune of the rulers that there is either a mismanagement or a conspiracy against them that the day they make any claim for the development of the country, the report or statement of their own institution comes. When Finance Minister Ishaq Dar claimed that the country was not in default, the news came from the State Bank that the Pakistani government will have to pay another Rs 50 billion in interest on Chinese loans after which became clear that 39 percent of the total interest has increased.

According to Pakistani rulers, the criteria of success has been to acquire loans and pay interest on loans, so Ishaq Dar’s delightful announcement is that all international payments have been arranged for the next one year.

I wish it was also told from whom this arrangement has been made by begging and asking for a loan? If there was a PTI government today, perhaps its finance minister would have been saying the same thing that we have agreed with the IMF on easy terms and managed to repay all the loans as it has become so common that more loans have to be taken to pay off the interest on the loans and this would have been considered a successful economic strategy by all our rulers.

How long will this stupidity continue and how long will the entire burden of loans and interest continue to be put on the people? The political leaders coming to power are taking loans on the one hand and on the other hand they are preaching self-reliance, but they are not ready to act on it themselves. Thus, taking the first step towards the goal of self-reliance is difficult, as soon as this first step is taken, the goal will become easier.

Attiya Munawer
The writer tweets @AttiyaMunawer

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