Hammad Ahmad - As Pakistan is taking huge strides towards economic growth, the gap between the rich and the poor is widening at an alarming rate. This trend does not only exist in Pakistan, but in the whole world.

If the current trend continues, the world’s richest one percent would own more than 50 percent of the world’s wealth by 2016 with 80 percent of the world’s richest controlling as much wealth as 3.5 billion people: half the world’s population.

The major reason for this inequality is wrong economic policies devised by the rich to keep them richer and make them further richer at the cost of the people surrounding them.

The social corporate responsibility is being used just as an eyewash as the rich are gaining more and more hold on the resources with little payback to the society. Most of the times these people are taking the world wealth and money out of the equation from an economy as they sit idle upon them.

There is a ‘myth’ that some economists use to justify inequality — the idea that rich people create the jobs. That is not entirely true as the investors actually don't create the jobs -- not sustainable ones, anyway.

Yes, they can create jobs temporarily, by starting companies and funding losses for a while. It is a healthy economic ecosystem — one in which most participants (especially the middle class) have plenty of money to spend that creates jobs.

The company's customers buy the company's products that channels money to the company and allows it to hire more employees and the customer base of most of the companies is ultimately gigantic middle class.

But unfortunately, with current economic scenario, this middle class is squeezing sharply. The elite class is holding most of the resources to themselves with a little circulation of money and the widening gap between the rich and the poor is ultimately indicates that the vibrant force of the economy, the middle class, is sliding towards poverty.

The political and economic consensus, therefore, should be on pursuing economic growth rather than redistribution of income in the hope that “a rising tide lifts all boats.”

The rich aren’t just taking home a huge share of the country’s income. They’re also much more likely to have a job in the first place. And If you are a wealthy politician or businessman, the law rarely applies to you. Rich people these days have the ability and access to essentially buy -- or heavily influence -- political campaigns. The real tragedy of today’s Pakistan — the institutions meant to check corruption and plundering of national wealth are captive in the hands of the rich and mighty while politics is the handmaid of those having money power.

Mostly, the poor bear the deadly cross of accountability for the wanton irresponsibility of the corporations, politicians, wealthy and privileged.

It is they who are incarcerated, poisoned, executed, and chained to debt and lose their homes, jobs, social respect, and are stripped of titles, positions, dignity, rights, and awards.

The poor and downtrodden are held accountable for all the wrongs of the society – they pay the price for violence, greed, corruption, pollution, destruction, hate, discrimination and arrogance. Whistleblowers who demand accountability for atrocities and the egregious violations of our rights are imprisoned and exiled while those that perpetrated the crimes remain in power.

So that’s why, the concepts of "transparency" and "accountability" are important pillars of democratic governance in modern societies. Transparency and accountability are critical for the efficient functioning of a modern economy and for fostering social well-being. Without these, masses will lose their trust in the government, resulting in social instability and a less conducive environment for economic growth.

Adequate transparency and accountability are therefore critical for ensuring that resource wealth is managed for the benefit of the whole population.

If solidarity is with the poor, the rich have to realise that less is more in terms of stability, sustainability, equality and the future of humanity.

Income inequality isn't inevitable. As economists have argued, it is the result of bad policies that favour the rich and leave everyone else struggling. We should get out of our collective comfort zone and create conversations across the income divide. Accountability for one’s actions is a value that functional societies require at every level from our children to our corporations to our Commanders-in-Chief. Without such a standard, the moral compass of our nation spins out of control, wildly sending us into dangerous and uncharted waters of increasingly rogue and criminal behaviours. When will the public finally see accountability from all its power holders? The answer is: only when we demand it.