Mian Shahbaz Sharif is absolutely right when he asserts that the Pakistanis are not ready to live on foreign aid at the cost of their self-respect. But at the same time, it is a fact that if the objective is to get rid of foreign aid and the humiliating strings attached to it, Pakistan would have to become a self-reliant country in the real sense of the word. And there is no doubt that if a serious effort is made towards that end, we can indeed stand up on our own feet without the help of the US and IMF. Achieving this goal is possible in the first place through austerity at the federal and provincial government level and elimination of the scourge of corruption that is causing losses to the national exchequer to the tune of billions of rupees each year. Indeed not long ago, Prime Minister Gilani stated that if the countrys main organisations and institutions were reformed and cleansed of corruption the revenue generated would be much more than what we are today getting from international donors. At the same time, there is urgent need to reform the economy by making use of our natural resources in Thar and Reko Diq, vast gas reserves in Balochistan as well as taking up vital projects like Kalabagh Dam that is the most practicable solution to multiple problems rocking the country, ranging from seasonal floods and electricity to water shortage. If we merely chant slogans against foreign aid without initiating these projects, it would amount to paying lip service to the cause of self-reliance. Mian Shahbaz who was meeting Britains Secretary of State for Home Department Theresa May in London stated that unlike aid largesse that was detrimental to our sovereignty, Britains financial assistance was free of any strings and also expressed the hope that it would enable the Punjab government to meet its goals in the health and education sector. Britains support while it is respecting our sovereignty is welcome but in the long run, the goal of complete self-reliance would demand that we stop depending on others.