The governance and inflation conundrum
The existing situation presents a bleak outlook for Pakistan as the continuous governance crisis and rising prices, especially petroleum prices, have made the lives of ordinary people miserable. The growing political vendetta and intolerance have polarised politics to the extent that even positive criticism invites violence, breaking all social and cultural norms and crossing all the limits of decency.
All business operators are complaining that the rising inflation and petroleum prices have affected their businesses miserably. They have raised the prices of transport and people have limited choices to travel from one place to another. The ouster of PTI’s Government in the centre through the no-confidence motion has created a very uncertain situation where people are concerned about what will happen in the future. On the other hand, the PTI leaders adopted a narrative that there were foreign hands involved in the ouster of the PTI-led government. So far, this claim has not been proved with evidence.
It has been our political norm that whoever comes into government always criticises the previous regimes and holds them responsible for all the mess that we witness today. They never revisit their steps. Therefore, to get the stalled tranche from the IMF, we are compelled to comply with conditions at the earliest to escape the shrinking balance of payments issue. Pakistan needs visionary leadership and a team of professional economic experts to steer the country from the existing problems, including the depreciation of the rupee against the dollar, rising fuel prices and daily use items.
Pakistan does not need capitalists, feudal lords, sardars, peers or mirs as legislators; it requires highly educated, sincere and honest elected representatives with excellent leadership qualities. We have to resolve that we have to liberate our country from foreign liabilities and external debts that have compromised our sovereignty.
The government should focus on education, health, infrastructure, employment creation and the promotion of tourism. Switzerland, Malaysia, UAE, Singapore, Indonesia and the UK earn billions of dollars from the tourism industry, Pakistan needs to explore these sectors so that it can exploit passive income streams. Dubai earns billions from the tourism industry even though it is a desert.
Skill development programmes must also be devised so that talent may be placed in jobs. Finally, all the parties must display their political maturity and work together to get the country out of crisis—be it PML N, PPP or PTI. These three mainstream parties have a bigger role to play to find a lasting solution to the water crisis, gas and electricity load shedding, overpriced petrol and must make serious efforts to bring the prices of daily food items down, even if through offering subsidies to facilitate the masses. Pakistan has great potential to become an Asian Economic Tiger given its resources and strategic Importance provided that a positive, cooperative, collaborative and tolerant approach should come forward to put the economy on track by bringing reforms.
Big cities Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta, Islamabad, Hyderabad, Faisalabad, Multan, and Rawalpindi should be revamped and modern facilities should be provided so that the tourism industry and job creation process may be expedited. It is hoped that all the parties and institutions will come on the same page and debate and discuss a possible solution to prevent the country from defaulting. The blame game should stop now. Let’s make Pakistan self-sustained and economically stable.