The economy's handling by the present government remains a mystery. Amidst an unfolding disaster, with the country in the grip of an unprecedented high inflationary cycle, a weakening Pak Rupee, eroding stock markets, flight of capital, diminishing productivity, rising unemployment, crumbling law and order and mounting insecurity (both internal and external), stagnating economic growth and a rapidly deteriorating industrial environment, there appears a sort of calm indifference and inaction on the part of the administration. While surely there is hope and belief that the present negative economic trends can be arrested and then reversed, the time is fast running out, because the longer we take to meet the mounting challenges, the harder it will be to overcome them. Ironically, with Musharraf's departure the comfort of blaming it all on the predecessors may have also departed along with him - In short, it is now time to deliver The world's economic environment and operating mechanism, both have dramatically changed over the last decade or so. In spite of "Doha-Round" failures the WTO (World Trade Organization) culture has firmly taken root, Globalisation that once was only a dream is reality today because of its success mainly in making major breakthroughs in communication innovations via far-reaching satellite and IT (Information Technology) developments, Territorial gains stand replaced by economic supremacy where market access determines success benchmarks, Emergence of large economic cum political blocs like the EU (European Union) means that individual nationalism now stands eclipsed by regional loyalties. The economic power pendulum is decidedly shifting towards East, with China and India fast gaining the status of new emerging economic superpowers. These new global dispensations pose new problems and present new challenges, the likes or the dimensions of which may not have been encountered before by nations or at best they may have known the breed of the beast before, but its modern day size and strength surely depict a new phenomenon - "The larger the menu the more is the indigestion." ~ Paul Samuelson. Importantly, the lesson here being that to counter today's economic challenges, the manager needs new thinking, new ideas and fresh innovative solutions, since he can no longer rely on the traditional single dimensional approaches of yesteryears. The magnitude of the platter i.e. the size of a modern day economy is so big and varied that to tackle issues you require multiple approaches that could be diametrically opposite yet they could work in tandem by being compartmentalised to function independently - Horses for courses where mules could be teaming up with the thoroughbreds in winning Derbies. Further, the accusatory argument being excessively put forward these days by developed economies that the lax monetary policies of developing countries have caused their respective economies to grow too fast, in turn putting extra demand on their national and global resources, needs to be looked at in its true perspective. According to the economically developed West, the central banks of developing countries should aggressively tighten monetary policies to restrain economic growth and thereby reduce global inflation. While this may be true to a certain extent, countries like Pakistan need to determine their own equilibrium between growth, development and inflationary curbs. Too much or too little of either side can have serious long-term repercussions because our requirements cannot be neatly fixed in the pattern devised by foreign pundits. Only we know our needs and ground realities and, therefore, only we have the capability to decide the ideal trade-off between growth and inflation within Pakistan. Also, surprisingly the data recently revealed by the "China National Bureau of Statistics" indicates that the real blame lies elsewhere, as the inflation driven by the US and the EU economies internally and externally is nearly 11 percent more than the rest of the world put together. While we are being lectured on the need for raising our interest rates, devaluing our currency, completely removing subsidies and stifling growth cum investment (especially industrial) to combat hyper-inflation and trade deficits, the developed countries once again come across as not practising for themselves what they preach for others. In the case of USA, their borrowing interest rates still tend to be well below the mark they were likely to reach, the Federal Reserve Chairman continues to demonstrate a willingness to relax monetary measures and compromise on fiscal prudence when it comes to rescuing sensitive mortgage agencies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, UK comes across as being no different by refusing to meaningfully put up their interest rates and by stubbornly safeguarding an over-valued Sterling, Canada and Japan have just announced fresh packages to subsidise national public utilities and healthcare and side by side lowering corporate borrowing rates to stem industrial productivity, growth and employment, and China has vowed to unleash a fall 2008 strategy to sustain its industrial momentum amidst growing concerns of a likely slowdown. In other words, while these States are assuming the responsibility to counter inflation in their public interest, they want to do this without compromising on the long-term future of their respective economic growth and development. The flourishing new found Eastern European capitalist economies are behaving no differently either. For example, the biggest economy in this bloc, Poland, has focused on retaining the growth in the first quarter of 2008 at a sprightly 6.10 percent despite an irksome inflation level of 9.40 percent (extremely high by European standards). The borrowing rates are still being maintained at a level under 6 percent and in spite of a yawning budget deficit of as high as 9.50 percent of the GDP, the government continues to ensure macroeconomic stability through a strong currency, confident stock markets and naked enticement of domestic plus foreign investment inflows. Finally to Pakistan. It appears that we still remain confused on where and how to start and when. Add to this the uncertainty on who will do all this or do we have a competent economic team in place to bail the country out of the economic impasse. In devising prudent approaches to manage the Pakistani economy and in striving to find the ideal mix between growth and inflation, it is important to remember that there are no general rights or wrongs and there can be no cover-all monetary or fiscal fixes. There can always be an appropriate strategy for a specific sector even though it may fundamentally differ from the central direction adopted by a government, because remember the modern day management represents the synthesis of all earlier approaches put together. Also, sensible subsidies and fiscal prudence do not necessarily have to be conceived as being contradictory; in fact, with the right recipe they can become complementary to each other. The key to Pakistan's long-run success lies in developing a combination of pragmatism and vision. While much of the rest of the developing world, following the Washington Consensus, may be moving in the direction to adopt extreme monetary measures, Pakistan needs to make it clear that it seeks sustainable and more equitable increases in real living standards through growth in national production and productivity