The past present and future are intertwined, such that our actions in the past impact our present and future. After the creation of Pakistan, those who assumed power did not lay foundations of a strong economy and tended to take the easier route of borrowing, which at that time was not too big a problem. However, without paying attention to economic borrowing is a slippery slope that traps a person or a country in a vicious debt trap.

This is what happened to Pakistan too. Without the capacity to expand our exports and curb imports, we kept borrowing to retire old debts and fulfill our present needs. Little did our politicians realise that these actions of the past and present will eventually lead to a horrifying future. The debts kept piling leaving the country at mercy of creditors and lending institutions that have little to no mercy for people. These institutions force the government to take measures that hurt people in the form of unbearable inflation.

Seventy-two years have gone by and we continue to borrow to repay borrowings of the past and to fill the budget deficit without any attention to expand our agricultural and industrial output. Without robust exports and healthy GDP, we will keep sinking into this vicious debt trap. However, our politicians seem oblivious to this situation and keep exchanging barbs as to who is responsible for the mess we are in today. Even today, the ruling party blames the past governments and those in opposition cry that the government is incapable and inefficient. In reality, every party/person has played a role, be it corruption or incompetence. The best course for our leaders is to make Confucius like confession and vow to believe that at the time of reckoning no one is better than the other.

They need to forge unity and move forward to rebuild the structure of the destroyed economy. They must realise that neither the past can be retrieved nor present can progress without striving hard for a bright future. I wish and pray that God blesses our leaders with the wisdom to mend their faults and work in harmony for the betterment of the country, not for their own selves.

RAJA SHAFAATULLAH,

Islamabad.