Over the years, this country’s economy is in decline, exports are falling, tax evasion is on the rise while we resort to more borrowing to fill this deficit. Our problems emanate because of poor governance and wrong choices of individuals at the helm to steer this country out of this deepening crisis. 

The basic problem lies with elected political elites and military dictators who have ruled this country for the past five decades. They all had either a common mental complex disorder, which is an ability to comprehend what they do not know, or an honest self-assessment of their limited capabilities. No individual can acquire the ability to be a master economist, agriculturist, historian, foreign policy expert, environmentalist, human development planner, power generation expert etc. It is either this failure or some sort of an evil ulterior motive and greed which has driven this country to the depths of moral and financial deprivation. Just review the conflicts of interest and lack of credibility in choices of Finance Minister, Commerce Minister, Planning Commission, Law Minister etc. appointed by Zia, Musharraf, Asif Zardari and Nawaz Sharif. Even after dismal performances of these ministries, there seems to be either no shame on part of the individuals who headed these ministries, nor any constitutional obligation of PM to replace them with more qualified men of integrity. If the PM had kept himself abreast of failures and achieved some successes, he would have stood to benefit and overcome political turmoil he finds himself in. 

This PM, like his predecessors, is responsible for failures that confront this country. Private owned power projects are completed on time, producing expensive electricity, but Nandipur fails because the government chose to appoint civil bureaucrats and cronies instead of qualified specialists in power generation, of which there is no dearth in this country. Islamabad’s new International airport cost has escalated several times and its completion delayed by several years because every government at helm considers it kosher to waste and plunder state funds as if they were spoils of war. It’s high time that our elected political elites and powerful paid civil or uniformed bureaucracy understand that this country needs services of qualified specialists and government jobs are not for their welfare, or of their cronies, but to serve public. 

MALIK TARIQ,  

Lahore, July 24.