This letter refers to the news story ‘Silent treatment’ (September 26, 2022). The writer rightly notes that we have lost the goodwill of our Middle Eastern friends who and many other countries that genuinely wish to help Pakistan due to our “internal strife.” Though we are suffering from economic losses due to our misguided policies, it is difficult to agree with the author that the state is short of resources to continue even the current subsidies as the growth in expenditures is outpacing revenue collection. Every country has limited resources in relation to their aspirations, it is how they allocate those resources that matters.
The problem is of priorities, not of resources. In our case, there is enough money for the salaries and perks and privileges of MNAs, MPAs, ministers, advisers and high-ranking bureaucrats. However, when it comes to education for the millions of children out of school, for small and medium-sized hospitals and dispensaries in villages and small towns, we are suddenly short of funds. This is clearly a matter of priorities, not of financial resources. What is needed is a change in the attitudes of the authorities to divert all available resources towards programmes that enhance growth and development in efficient ways.