Recently figures and statistics about the financial affairs of the state have been published. They are not surprising or unexpected.
The reactions and comments of the general public say it all. The June 9 edition of The News carried an excellent analysis by my friend, Dr Farrukh Saleem, who does not hesitate to call a spade a spade. He has directly addressed the prime minister and drawn his attention to the messy financial state of affairs.
A friend once asked me why I did not draw the attention of readers to the many things that were going from bad to worse in the country. I answered that I felt that we were merely seeing a repeat of olden times when fake stories of praise for the government
and rulers were presented to the PM while the reality was starkly different.
Sadly, in our country, any good suggestions or solutions coming from anywhere except cronies is considered to be the opposition’s foul agenda.In 1864, the Russian army was moving into the Central Asian States and occupying all the Islamic countries one by one. They were also nearing Bokhara. In those days, Bokhara was the remnant of a grand dynasty and the ameer was still under the (false) impression of having immense powers. Many sincere, wise people warned him against the approaching danger. But the matter was made light of by cronies. When the time came, there was a bloody war and the loss of the lives of a large number of people. All the ‘brave’ cronies fled and many joined the occupying forces. The same happened in many other Islamic countries and in the end they all became slaves of the West.
We have a notion that those with degrees from Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Stanford, etc are geniuses and can solve all our (financial) problems. Nothing is further from the truth. In fact, Western financial organizations like the World Bank and IMF employ a few graduates from Third World countries. They are not policymakers but policy implementers.
The World Bank and IMF are, in reality, no different from the proverbial ‘Kabuli soodkhor’. Once under their influence, you keep on paying interest and always stay under debt. Our highly successful businessmen do not hold degrees from high-profile universities. Despite exporting goods worth billions, earning invaluable foreign exchange and paying huge amounts in taxes, they are still branded as cheats, defaulters, tax-evaders, etc by ‘big bosses’ earning millions of rupees in perks. This country has been destabilized by so-called ‘financial wizards’.
The only two financial experts we had who delivered were Mr Ghulam Ishaq Khan and Mr A G N Kazi. They were orthodox but highly successful – and never at the cost of the poor. While we were running nuclear and missile programmes, we were never beggars. There should be a committee consisting of such people to seek their advice and then implement it. They are all successful businessmen and will not require high salaries or perks but they will deliver.
In both the East and the West, many books have been written on the causes of the failure of nations. The main causes are incompetent, corrupt rulers who are unable to appoint experts, who are unwilling to consult others and who appoint sycophants. Even having good advisers and then ignoring what they say leads to failure. That is what is happening now.
Hazrat Umar (RA) controlled a domain eight times larger than Pakistan. At that time there were no trains, cars , aeroplanes, wireless, telephones, mobiles, roads, motorways, etc. yet it was the best social welfare state of all times. Read ‘Al-Farooq’ by Maulana Shibli Naumani and ‘Umar bin Khattab’ by Muhammad Husein Haikal and hang your head. Nobody was harmed, no one went hungry or slept without a roof over his head. Every day we hear about the State of Medina in Pakistan while lawlessness prevails and killings and rape are regular occurrences. What we need is a government with the will to eradicate social crime and injustice.