ALTHOUGH Government is trying to overcome the basic economic challenges like poverty, economic inequality, unemployment and ever-growing inflation but the situation remains elusive. This is because of the fact that the economic managers and leadership of the country have misinterpreted the potential of the country. The poor management of human and natural resources are main issues which has redirected countrys economic policies towards unbridled trade liberalisation rather than dependence on indigenous resources. According to the ranking of Food and Agriculture Organization, Pakistan was the 3rd largest producer of chickpeas, 4th leading producer of cotton, dates, mangoes and apricots, 5th largest producer of milk, 7th largest producer of wheat, 9th largest producer of sugar and meat and 12th largest producer of rice in the year 2009-2010. The country is abundant with tapped and untapped natural resources of worth trillions of dollars in natural gas, coals, minerals, precious stones, gems, gold, chromites, titanium, marble and granite, copper and gold but they not being explored adequately due to mismanagement. Pakistan ranks 6th populous country, with 45pc young population. Its human capital is second-to-none of any country. It is, however, unfortunate that due to lack of visionary and futuristic policies and mismanagement of resources, overall affect of the country economic contribution to global economy is negligible. Presently, we are the 47th largest GDP (0.1pc) of the world, 63rd largest export nation. You may recall that in 1960s, Pakistan was well placed along with many countries on Asia. The exports of China were estimated at $1 billion, followed by India ($660 million), Malaysia ($553million), Thailand ($438 million), Singapore ($359 million) and Pakistan ($332 million). By end of 2010, the position is totally changed. China now stands the second largest export nation of the world and all other countries exports have crossed $200 billion mark while the exports of Pakistan accounted for only $20 billion. Have we ever thought that how other countries developed themselves in last five decades and how we lagged behind in pace of development? The political leadership in Pakistan may have other argument but some of the factors are much visible, which derailed the countrys economy. On account of poor management, corruption, insincerity and lack of nationalism, the performance of Pakistan is dismal, which can be gauged from the following facts: Pakistan ranks 142nd in terms of human development index and despite being 7th nuclear power, the countrys is ranked in human development with least developed countries like Sudan, Somalia and Tanzania. Over 60pc of the population has no access of clean drinking water, 65pc have poor sanitation services, On account of poor health facilities, life expectancy in Pakistan has decreased from 69 years to 67.5 year ( i.e. 1.5 years in last 10 years) The life in Pakistan in terms of economic needs was considerably good as compared with other countries of the region, however, persistent increase in price of necessary commodities, devaluation of Pakistan currency, the livelihood has become little difficult. The most concerned factor is that middle class group in the country is diminishing day by day, which is not a good sign for a country like Pakistan. Agriculture sector needs special attention. The landlords should concentrate on improving yield of the crops and introduce new varieties of hybrid seeds that ensures high yield from the same cultivated area. The new varieties of hybrid seeds for the crop of rice, BT cotton, wheat, maize, etc. The industrialists should plan to add value to the agriculture products through manufacturing and taking interest for agro-based industry. The traders should do their best to provide pre-harvest facilities required by the farmers like the supplies of fertilizers and insecticides and in the end facilitating marketing of harvested crops. In addition to political issues, which have negatively affected the security situation in the country, we are faced with other challenges like: low level of competitiveness and productivity; low rank in ease of doing business; high cost of business; non-conducive business environment, which negatively affect the flow of FDI and domestic investment in the country; lack of proper industrial infrastructure and acute shortage of energy, which has retarded the pace of economic vehicle. We need to revisit our policies and should encourage the involvement of private sector in the policy-making process. This is our national duty which earnestly demands us to stand united and firm for the larger interest of the country. (The writer is Vice President of SAARC Chamber of Commerce & Industry).