The basic ingredients for an economy to function are stability, consistency and a positive atmosphere. Sadly the PTI government has failed to add these ingredients. If we have a mere 180-angle look at some aspects, we will figure out what’s wrong and what has to be done.

Big contractors like Zahir Khan and Habib constructions who used to employ thousands of people are on the verge of default due to the political tags around them. The people who used to employ 15000 workers a year back now only have 300-500 people working for them. These tags are causing unemployment uncertainty and dark prospects. They are people who should be encouraged as they have contributed to infrastructure and mega projects. This shows the government lacks experience and the captain doesn’t know who his wicket-taking bowler is.

There is fear among small traders who claim to be receiving phone calls from reformed institutions of Pakistan about previous tax returns, asset details. It would do to remember that Pakistan has its own modus of operandi; it will take time to reform and change people’s way of doing business. A clear timeline should be given instead of this threatening behaviour that has shaken the confidence of small business owners and will not let the economy function.

Industrialists are also facing the sword of the accountability bureau. Most businesses houses are busy planning on how to avoid NAB instead of focusing on their business. If somebody is not NAB tainted, the rising interest rates have put many business groups on the verge of default. There is no discussion regarding growth or prosperity among industrialists due to devaluation and high-interest rates. The chambers and commerce associations are not active anymore as the industrialists are busy in sorting out their own problems rather than giving proposals to the government. A directional change and clear guidelines are needed to ensure that economy functions.

There is real urgency for the economy to recover. Opposition stands divided whether to be aggressive or defensive as they fear the sword of NAB. Leaders like Mariam Nawaz need to be among the public talking about rising inflation and unemployment. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is lacking leadership here.

Issues need to be highlighted and the government needs to be put in pressure to perform, like we have seen in the PML-N era. The 30th October 2011 Lahore address by Imran khan was a wakeup call for the Noon party and they performed well under pressure. With no major competitors, there is no such pressure on the current government to give results. The present environment needs to be changed for the economy to function.

The government needs to reach out to the best in its parliament, even if it has political differences with them. When it comes to foreign policy there is no one more talented than Hina Rabbani Khar. The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) also has Bilawal Bhutto to raise issues of people from all walks of life, for which he is getting appraisal from the public. So if we provide equal ground to the opposition, the ultimate winner will be Pakistan and the economy will function as the focus will be on public issues. It is those public issues which will be highlighted rather than individual battles.

With a more inclusive team, the government, which has in its corner the experienced Chaudhrys’s of Gujraat, Tareen and Aleem Khan, need to be able to play their role in the functioning of the economy as, in a more contributive system, the balancing out equation will no be there anymore. The captain needs to think big just like he thought for the Shaukat Khanum Memorial hospital for a great cause in the 1990s. He has to ensure a neutral atmosphere to let the economy function just as he introduced the concept of neutral umpires in his cricketing days. He has done well on the foreign policy front but shifting the focus out of CPEC, infrastructure-led development and agriculture has impacted negatively on the functioning of the economy.

A shift in focus is required to put things on track. Separation of powers should be the principle discussed and practiced.