Every government that assumes power declares that the national exchequer is empty, and the economy is in shambles. Then, it keeps doing what its predecessors did. Traditionally, our leaders have heavily relied on borrowing, without paying any attention to capacity building. For example, the previous government borrowed heavily to spend on mega projects for self-glorification, rather than investing into the right sectors for the betterment of the people. The former PM, in his first stint, made tall claims to break the shackles of debt around Pakistan, and initiated the “Qarz Utaro Mulk Sanwaro” scheme. However, we could not break the begging bowl, as the government could not resist the temptation to spend heavily on metros and trains rather than health, education, and dams. Similarly, no effort was made to introduce land reforms and distribute land to the poor, who could have converted barren land into arable. The current government is in the grip of a financial crisis and struggling hard to seek help from friendly countries. The opposition parties taunt it for begging, without realizing that there is no way out of this vicious circle until we build our capacity and a strong infrastructure that creates an economy which can stand on its own feet.

RAJA SHAFAATULLAH,

Islamabad, February 21.