It seems that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief’s comments have not been taken seriously by the government and the media.
It amounts to a charge-sheet against the obnoxious political, economic and social structure, built up and imposed on the people that have divided our society into two clear segments; the haves and the have-nots. The criticism was directed at the elite rulers and the privileged ones, whether these comprise big land-owners, bureaucrats, unscrupulous businessmen, generals or judges.
The IMF chief’s remarks were a stark reminder to the power brokers of the country that carried an unambiguous message; get ready to change and reform or otherwise the nation perishes.
The IMF chief also dismissed the possibility of Pakistan negotiating debt restructuring with bilateral and multilateral creditors, as being advised by some economists and writers, without analysing the implications and complications involved. She termed it a dangerous proposition. For argument sake, even if the debt restructuring gets implemented, the economic and financial challenges would remain.
There is no solution to Pakistan’s economic woes unless the elite and the privileged classes take a radical departure from the existing route and share the pains and difficulties with the masses. It can only happen when the economy transitions from elite-based to pro-poor. I am not a pessimist, but I do not see this happening in my lifetime. I really don’t.
SHAISTA ANWAR KIRMANI