When Finance Minister Dar advises “two years” of “no politics” on the economy, one wonders whether he really means ‘two years of no questions and no criticism’ instead. Yes, it is true that even when government officials are delivering hard, unwelcome truth about the cobwebs in the money box, opposition leaders will strain themselves to convince a miserable public that really, Pakistan is rich! And only the unkind, cruel government official telling you otherwise is to blame for your misery. But, it’s not just Mr Dar who gets such treatment as Finance Minister. Before this, the PML-N has been happy to let its own people bash successive finance ministers during the PPP’s term with the same language now being employed against it. One imagines it’s a case of, ‘It’s fine, until it happens to us.’

However, just because that’s the way it’s always been done, doesn’t mean it ought to be that way forever. Especially when it’s just plain silly. We all know the electricity crisis has the same obvious causes and fixes. We all know that tariff rates for energy will have to go up. We all know we’ll have to open up the economy to the behemoth on the east. We all know we have to privatise pretty much everything, if it’s ever to make money. There genuinely should not be politics allowed on this issue. Hold an APC, browbeat everyone into doing the right thing, and then make it happen. If that is Mr Dar’s dream, one would be hard-pressed to disagree with it. However, if he thinks the Prime Minister’s Youth Business Loans Scheme should be lauded as the brilliant employment generating idea that Mr Dar would market it to be, or that his suggestion of encasing dollars immediately to avoid suffering a “loss”, or if his tall claims of 5% growth should be swallowed hook, line and sinker — well, he’s got another thing coming.