Dr Haider Mehdi Jis kayt say dehqan ko myassar na ho rosi,Us kayt kay har gosha-a-gundum ko jilla do.- Iqbal Emma Chang, a young Chinese woman, owns a small jewellery shop in the grand and massive Dragon Mall in Dubai. She is a skilled worker; in a matter of minutes Emma takes crystal beads, pearls and semi-precious stones and turns them into beautiful necklaces, earrings and bracelets. She does not own an expensive home back in China, but she makes a reasonable middle class living and her denominator of emancipation and well being is the degree of happiness that she acquires out of her work and social existence. There are thousands of Chinese like Emma in this business hub of a remarkably planned Chinese enterprise. China, in its rise to global economic-financial eminence, has mobilised the masses and trained them as skilled independent workers - the indicators of national development are measured in the rising levels of happiness, job satisfaction, a feeling of independence and increasing degrees of economic well being. This process has strongly impacted social mobility by transforming the class structure resulting in the emergence of a massive middle class society. The Chinese leadership has also stressed national cultural imperatives in its developmental planning. This is precisely the sum total of Chinas rise to a global power. By comparison, Pakistan remains stuck in a time warp inherited from the colonial past. There is absolutely no sense of transformational processes in nation-building. We are strictly a class society with a backward political leadership and an economic structure that maintains at its core the ideology of class segregation on the basis of the socio-economic status quo. The limited upwards social mobility is essentially based on a massively corrupt socio-economic-political system that has its roots and consolidates itself in nepotism, political favouritism and cronyism. The indicator of national well being is still the stock exchange, which is controlled by a small vested interest group. Our leadership also takes pride in obtaining foreign loans and unfavourable investment projects that are continually bankrupting the nation. Consequently, a feasible nation-building process has yet to begin in Pakistan. It is no wonder then that the majority of the deprived masses in Pakistan exist on a mere $2 a day, yet a Pakistani banker has paid the staggering amount of $60 million for a 60-room hotel in London. The Pakistani landscape is littered with numerous examples of socio-economic segregation and a growing gap between the haves and have-nots. We will have to do the so far unthinkable to survive as a nation. We will have to espouse an economic doctrine of a transformational process that changes our indicators of economic development from the stock exchange performance to increases in self-employment, enlargement of skilled labour and its efficient management, and expansion of employment in public and private sectors based solely on self-reliance economics and developmental models. We should also strive for a relentless drive for upward socio-economic mobility strictly managed and planned by engaging large segments of urban-rural populations. These sustained acts of the state must be directed towards and equitable socio-economic non-segregated class structure. It is a tall order, but a manageable process; we have the shining example of Chinas early developmental model and its success as our guiding principles. But doing and going forward on this unthinkable process is not possible without major rectification of our past errors; we will have to de-link our strategic economic and foreign policy doctrine from the inherited systemic fault lines of our six decade-old alliance with the US. We must come to realise and understand the demerits of our colonial bond with the West and the coercive baggage it carries against our national self-interests. We will have to start looking culturally and economically inwards, aligning ourselves with the emerging Islamic Bloc nations and re-aligning our strategic foreign policy interests with interests in South and Central America, the Middle East, South Asia, China and elsewhere where countries are pursuing a progressive geopolitical agenda of resistance against the US-Wests hegemonic imperialist objectives. We need to take massive U-turns in our national policies. Drastic steps in restructuring our national priorities and policies have become imperative now. Our engagement with the global-financial institutions, such as the IMF, World Bank, and other lending entities, need to be completely altered. Can we handle and manage default on our loans? If not, loan modalities, conditions and agreements need to be overhauled and restructured. We can no longer accept the IMF and World Bank directives to run our domestic economic and developmental policies: We must heavily reduce electricity and power tariffs in Pakistan (the IMF insists on increasing tariffs on electricity). Petrol, diesel and gas need to be subsidised to re-energise the national self-reliance economic cycle. We need to expand public sector projects, finance micro-level investment schemes on a massive scale to organise the small community-level rural self-employment sector, and undertake skills development training initiatives at local urban and rural centres. We must accelerate industrial development within a conceptual notion of public-private joint sponsorship and enterprises. Roads, hydroelectric and coal generated power, communication infrastructure development and planning must remain the states responsibility. Nationwide housing, education and improvements in health facilities must receive very large state funding. Pakistan needs to totally depart from its past socio-economic political parameters to a dynamic pragmatic approach to resolve its ailing national problematics. What Pakistan needs most is an overhauling of its contemporary political decision-making structure and a revolutionary transformation coupled with a renaissance in its time-stuck political mindset of the traditional power elite and the recalcitrant baggage that it has carried timelessly since its institutional genesis. Pakistans existence is vulnerable with its present political dispensation - we need to depart from the existing fundamentals of our polemic and contentious premise and redirect our future political discourse toward an altogether different path of political conduct and practices. Thus far, the military and civil regimes in this country have treated the phenomenal national issues of mass deprivation and poverty like abstractions, not imminent threats to the nations survival and existence, and have not grasped the consequences of their political decision-making, shattering the lives of common people and destroying the very socioeconomic and cultural fabric of this society. The ruling political elite have been unable to understand that widespread poverty is a cancerous growth that ultimately decimates the very foundations of a nations existence. Until the masses welfare and uplift becomes the pivotal goal, this country is bound to become a failed state. What we need to do has been, thus, the unthinkable. We need to become independent, self-managed, self-reliant, self-sufficient, self-directed, self-motivated, sovereign and debt-free, and largely a nation of productive, satisfied, socially, economically, culturally integrated people, who value their family lives and take pride in their happiness scale as the major denominator of national progress and development. Without such a change, we are a doomed nation Indeed, China has accomplished it to a certain extent - we can manage it, too Vladimir Lenin made a universally applicable observation: No amount of political freedom can make up for the economic misery inflicted upon the masses. Ironically, 62 years after its independence, Pakistans political structure/political system does exactly that: inflict misery upon its masses We need to do the unthinkable now. The writer: professor, political analyst and conflict resolution expert. Email: hl_mehdi@hotmail.com