Money Matters

Silent treatment

Money Matters
By Mansoor Ahmad
Mon, 09, 22

In this globalised world, one cannot live in isolation. We have to interact with other nations for imports, exports, tourism, defense, and many other activities.

Silent treatment

In this globalised world, one cannot live in isolation. We have to interact with other nations for imports, exports, tourism, defense, and many other activities.

But our tragedy is that we are in a cold war within our own country. Politicians are at war with each other, and traders have joined hands to fleece the consumers without paying taxes.

Manufacturers have formed cartels to ensure profits in boom and bust. The bureaucracy has assumed the role of rent seekers.

Police, instead of curbing crime, acts when crime is committed. It uses investigation as a tool to mint money from criminals or the aggrieved party.

Whoever pays more would get favour from the police. Pendency of cases particularly pertaining to economic affairs is very high.

There are many countries that genuinely wish to help Pakistan. Many did so in the past and most were disappointed because the help provided helped only the elite. Citizens remained deprived.

How can countries living at a distance from Pakistan trust the state which is at loggerhead with all its neighbours? We say that India is an anti-Muslim state, and we cannot do business with it because of its atrocities against the people of Kashmir.

But why is our trade with Afghanistan declining? Why does Iran and India trade continue to grow? Why Bangladesh that used to buy yarn and fabric from Pakistan has shifted to India to buy these products.

There are many countries that genuinely wish to help Pakistan. Many did so in the past and most were disappointed because the help provided helped only the elite

The simple reason is that the people and governments of these Muslim countries trust India more. This trust is now exhibited by the Middle Eastern countries of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and UAE that once blindly supported Pakistan. We have lost our goodwill due to our internal strife.

With passage of time the discontent in the society increased and anyone that was in power resorted to short-term public appeasing policies like subsidy on power bills for low end consumers, then doling out a few thousand rupees to the poor.

When the discontent continued to increase, the state started its free meal programmes and shelter houses on government expense. The state shifted from development to fire fighting issues on a temporary basis.

No government in Pakistan tried to improve governance and the status quo was never disturbed. The economy was elitist in 2000 and is more elitist 22 years later.

The electorate is tired of running after a mirage. They have realised that their troubles would increase with the passage of time.

The state on the other hand is short of resources to continue even the current subsidies as revenues are not increasing at the pace the expenditures are increasing. The economy is based on consumption.

Public do not trust the government. The inequalities are increasing. Those with resources are highly influential and they are not prepared to share their resources with the poor.

Fair distribution of resources requires tough decisions that would hurt the influential rich. The friends of Pakistan cannot go on helping Pakistan when the overwhelming majority of the population is not served by the state.


The writer is a staff member