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May 22, 2019

What if?


May 22, 2019

What if back in 1971 East and West Pakistanis agreed to separate peacefully rather than fighting a civil war. Both sides would have suffered less and our people would not have become POWs. What if Bhutto had not nationalised banks, schools, cement factories, fertilizer plants and industries? Our banks would have been far ahead than at present, our schools would have had higher standards, cement factories, fertilizer plants and industries would have expanded rather than closing down. Labour unions would have helped organisations to grow rather than pulling them down. What if Gen Zia had not got us involved in the Afghan War of the 1980s? Pakistan would not have suffered an increase in guns and drugs and extremists. What if in her second term as PM, Benazir Bhutto had built dams instead of power plants? Today, our electricity would have been much cheaper and our circular debt less. In addition, our manufactured goods would have been more competitive in the world market.

What if Gen Musharraf had built the Kalabagh Dam? There would have been cheaper electricity, less floods and more water for irrigation. What if past governments had spent more on education and population control? Today our people would have been more enlightened and our families smaller. What if the state-owned enterprises had been made to run in a profit rather than a loss? The money wasted could have been better spent on health, education, water and sanitation. What if Zardari and Nawaz Sharif had not borrowed excessively? Today, we would not have had to be on our knees begging for money from the IMF and friendly countries. Our rupee would have been stronger than the currencies of the countries in our neighbourhood. What if now our leaders learn how to better run the country?

Syed Hussein El-Edroos


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