Tuesday September 21, 2021

Change is inevitable!

April 01, 2020

Yes, I’ll dare to say it out loud. Why now one might ask; the answer to that is simple, not just the economy but humanity is at stake in Pakistan. The magnitude of governmental incompetence is a plague on its own and we as people of this earth face the COVID-19 pandemic.

People make mistakes, that is acceptable; but what is being done to the fundamental values and structure on which this nation and its institutions stand; is clearly if not certainly a synchronized attack on the sovereignty of our homeland.

Systematically retarding the fourth pillar of the state from day one; attacking the funds and working of the sector. Limiting advertisements; including the ones of public interest; causing a systemic slowdown of the industry resulting in hundreds of jobs lost. This is not just short-term; this was a strategic initiative taken in 2018 to damage the institution of media. Trajectory; the head of the largest media group is in jail, arrested during investigation by the credible NAB, in March 2020.

Then, the constant witch-hunt, the blatant political victimisation of opponents which is unprecedented in modern politics. The heads of all major parties were persecuted, morally attacked and held in prisons, including former Prime Minister Shahid Abbasi. The arrest and bail of Rana Sanaullah is a story on its own. The embarrassment of Mrs. Kulsum Nawaz and Mian Nawaz Sharif; the arrest of former president and leaders of the opposition, speaker of assemblies and key ministers at tax payers resources which are already claimed to be in the ICU. Well did something come out of it?

Parliament, the supreme institution, has been put to shame more than once. It’s not even a paper tiger anymore. Well why am I surprised, the PM publicly, on numerous occasions, has sent ‘Laanaat’ on the supreme constitutional establishment. Claiming the institution has no worth and is not being run properly, but do I see reform? To the contrary, I see complete lack of interest; rather operation through friends and former colleagues at the cost of national institutions. Unelected, inexperienced and in most cases incompetent individuals of epic proportions are put in charge of key strategic assets.

Administratively, accusation and arrests of senior public service officials and multiple displays of humiliation, demotivating the civil services, is leading to a complete lack of delivery. The Metro Bus Service Peshawar and Orange Train in Lahore are just a couple. Am I surprised? The PM roared, in public gatherings and on containers, that he would go after senior officials and the bureaucratic establishment of Pakistan. The promises of houses and employment are yet to be realised; and frankly, you might not see them anytime soon. The austerity drives to the claim of building universities at strategic state sites to the slashing of scholarships from the existing allocations. A constant state of self-contradiction!

The economy of the agrarian Pakistan? The mafias and cartels are chewing on the flesh and feasting on the blood of the poor. Farmers in taters, are squeezed to the bone by the wheat and sugar lords. All I see are ‘Friends’ not ‘Government’ at work. Innovation is nonexistent, instead a steep decline in the current, losing billions in mismanagement and hundreds of billions in opportunity costs. Modern concepts, digitization and the vision of research backed decision making are replaced with reactions and compromises.

Health and humanity were left, but after the actions and statements of the PM during the COVID-19 outbreak, blended with the mindset and track record; facing a pandemic, the likes of which mankind has never seen; the results of which are far-reaching and on a scale beyond the comprehension of the current playing 11; people who are waiting for this to pop, I am warning you! This time it will and tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of lives will be permanently affected.

The current reactionary retorts, the incoherence between federation and provinces, the complete lack of regard of scientific and practical evidence, and the clear divide between state institutions and the elected government institutions; it is evident that this arrangement, in a time of national and international crisis, needs to be corrected. It’s not just our economy anymore, our lives and families are imperiled. Change is inevitable.

Hussain Durrani ([email protected])

MBA (AACSB) | MHRM | Faculty of Business | Social Entrepreneur