The journey from the days of terrorism to an era of economic development was not easy. Pakistan not only survived but is among the top growing economies as highlighted by PricewaterhouseCoopers in its recent report, ‘How will the global economic order change by 2050’. The journey does not end here. The federal government cannot achieve the goals alone and every person must play a role to make Pakistan a brand.
The years 2008-2013 marked the successful completion of a democratic tenure in the country. The leadership was then smoothly transferred to another political party. During the same period, Pakistan was declared the most dangerous country by the foreign media.
Investors had lost trust in the nation which was evident from a negative return of six percent in the equity market in 2011. Terrorism was at its peak with 2,586 terrorists attacks recorded in 2009, the economy was shrinking and foreign relations were deteriorating day by day. People were scared of going to public places and the country was getting darker and darker with increasing shortage of power. From Pakistan Railways to basic road infrastructure, from power generation to industrialisation and from law and order situation to crime rate, very little had improved in a decade.
What actually improved was political awareness, willingness to change and realisation of voting power. The media was given freedom for the first time in 2002 — something that played a very vital role in bringing awareness among people. The same era also witnessed the restoration of the judiciary which brought the hope of justice in every Pakistani citizen.
The fact that everything has been fixed by the current government would be a very biased statement to make. However things seem to be on the right track. Majority of people in Pakistan are not interested in figures: they say what they see.
Looking at the broader picture, even a common man can identify the improvements that have been made in the last four years. People can see old trains being replaced by modern air-conditioned ones, they can witness the development of infrastructure in the country and they cannot ignore the time they save with better transport and road facilities. The people of Pakistan can clearly see dark cities turning into cities of light. A smile on the face of a businessman is evidence of the economic growth while the joint services parade on Pakistan Day proves our strength and regional importance. A common man having dinner with his family at a restaurant on a weekend proves that the country is safer. Improved law and order situation, particularly in Karachi and Balochistan, is not a hidden fact either.
Regardless of an individual’s political affiliation, everyone now stands together for Pakistan. Time calls for unity once again. The Chinese have yet again proven their brotherly ties with Pakistan with an investment of $57 billion. Let’s not waste the opportunity and let’s not fall into false propagandas.
CPEC termed as the ‘fate changer’ is seen by foreign countries as the future Big Bang. At least 56 countries have already shown interest in the mega project and Pakistanis also need to realise its importance. From energy projects to road infrastructure, from railways to industrial zones, CPEC provides infinite opportunities to Pakistan. The opportunities shall be utilised and maximum perks shall be availed by the locals before foreign investors benefit from the profits. From journalists to engineers and from doctors to financiers, CPEC provides vast opportunities to individuals in every sector.
Whether it is education or health, infrastructure or industrialisation, agriculture or the services industry, the federal government has put the country on the right track. Economic indicators are improving and the GDP will be touching five percent for the very first time. It is time the citizens play their role as well.
Your input for the country is needed. You can either promote a soft image of Pakistan or invest in research work, the possibilities are immense. It is time the brand image of Pakistan is improved. The world needs to know how safe your country is for investment, tourism and education and it wants to hear it from you. The current government is playing its part, will you play yours?
The writer is a business economic
graduate from the University of
Hertfordshire. Twitter: Faizankhaan91