After the emergence of Pakistan, our politicians adopted a lifestyle that was beyond their means. They wasted money on the import of luxury items such as vehicles and building luxurious residences. This hindered economic growth as the primary focus was on borrowing to spend on non-developmental projects.

Our neighbour on the contrary adopted a prudent style from the beginning. For example, while we kept import cars for our needs, they set up manufacturing facilities in their own country saving foreign exchange and building local capacity. The Tatas and the Birlas adopted a simple lifestyle in the best interests of their country and laid down a foundation for a strong economy. The citizens of India followed in the footsteps of their leaders. The result was that India did not look toward others to help them in development projects. India got economic freedom and does not depend on financial aid from other countries and institutions. They have rather become a huge market which every country is longing to be part of. The entrepreneurs who started projects decades ago today stand among the richest in the world. We on the other stand today where we started decades ago. Our economy is completely dependent on borrowing and aid from others.

Our leaders have learned nothing and continue with their royal lifestyles. While the country has been going poor by the day, our politicians and the ruling elite somehow have been thriving when it comes to personal wealth. We do not have businessmen or industrial groups that rank among the top in the world, but our ruling elite for sure is among the richest of the politicians. They have mastered the art of playing the blame game to cover up their corruption and misdeeds while the country bleeds. The incumbent government and its detractors need to liberate themselves from the tyranny of the self-righteousness concept and create harmony and solidarity in the national interest and move forward rather than digging the past. If we do not start working on building a strong economy right away, I am afraid we would be up for very tough and bad times ahead.

RAJA SHAFAATULLAH,

Islamabad.