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PAKISTAN'S VISION 2030
IF THE INTERNATIONAL MEDIA DOES NOT KNOW WHAT THE WORD HAQEEQI AZADI MEANS THEY WILL NEED TO START IMMERSING THEMSELVES IN URDU. LUCKILY GLOBAL VISION 2000 CAN FACILITATE THIS TO THE BENEFIT OF OUR READERS AND FOLLOWERS. THE URDU TERM MEANS REAL FREEDOM AND INDEPENDENCE. THIS IS HOW TONIGHT'S PTI POWER RALLY IN LAHORE IS BEING BILLED ON THE EVE OF PAKISTAN'S 75 DIAMOND JUBILEE CELEBRATIONS.

THE POLITICAL ATMOSPHERE IS ELECTRIC NATIONALLY FOR VARIOUS REASONS. UPPERMOST IS THE SPEECH BY IMRAN KHAN ON AN ULTIMATUM FOR EARLY GENERAL ELECTIONS AS THE NATION HOVERS TOWARDS BANKRUPTCY. 

GLOBAL VISION 2000 REAFFIRMS AND SALUTES PAKISTAN ON IT'S INDEPENDENCE DAY  FROM TYRANNICAL DAJALLIC BRITISH IMPERIALISM AND HINDUTVA DOMINATION.  THE MORE ONE UNRAVELS THE STORY OF PAKISTAN IT BECOMES CLEAR THAT IT'S CREATION AND CONTINUED EXISTENCE IS INDEED MIRACULOUS. A NATION CREATED BY THE STRUGGLE OF INDIAN MUSLIMS WHICH WAS MEANT TO BE STRANGLED AT BIRTH BY IT'S ENEMIES.  IT IS ALSO CLEAR THAT THE VISION OF QUAID I AZAM MUHAMMAD ALI JINNAH WAS CUT SHORT SOON AFTER HIS DEATH AND HIS VISION NEVER REALLY MATERIALISED. 

SO THE CHALLENGE ISN'T JUST TO COMPLETE HIS UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF THE MID 20TH CENTURY AT THE DAWN OF THE POST COLONIAL ERA.  AS WE ARE AT THE DAWN OF 1444 THE ISLAMIC NEW YEAR IN 2022 THE WORLD STRUGGLES WITH AND IS DROWNING IN THE DAVOS SO CALLED GLOBAL RESET. WHAT THIS REALLY MEANS IS THAT THE NONMUSLIM SECULAR IDEOLOGIES AND POWERS  ARE LITERALLY KILLING THE WORLD WITH THE ENDING OF GLOBAL CAPITALISM,  A GLOBAL FINANCIAL MELTDOWN AND ENTRY INTO WW3.   

SO ON THIS AUSPICIOUS DAY SOMEONE HAS TO DECLARE A GLOBAL UDI.  GLOBAL VISION 2000 IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THAT PAKISTAN, THE UMMAH AND THE WORLD NEEDS TOTAL TRANSFORMATION. WHAT THIS MEANS IN THE 21ST CENTURY IS THAT WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS IS A GLOBAL ISLAMIC REVOLUTION AS NOTHING ELSE WILL SUFFICE  AS THE WORLD IS LITERALLY DYING.  THIS IS THE ULTIMATE IDEAL UNIVERSAL PARADIGM SHIFT THAT HUMANITY NEEDS TO RE-IMAGINE AND ESTABLISH.  SO DON'T JUST READ THIS AND MOVE FORWARD AND SPREAD THE MESSAGE.    

 

NATION CELEBRATES 75th INDEPENDENCE DAY WITH
TRADITIONAL ZEAL














IMRAN KHAN IS GOING TO START JALSA CAMPAIGN ALL OVER PAKISTAN




A POWERFUL MESSAGE WAS SENT TO IMRAN KHAN TO STAY IN YOUR LIMITS -NAJAM SETHI







IMRAN KHAN LAHORE JALSA 
HAQEEQI AZADI CAMPAIGN STARTED  
Sami Ibrahim





PAKISTAN's 75th ANNIVERSARY
LACK OF DIRECTION  PAINFUL REFLECTIONS AND QUESTIONS
Moeed Pirzada





PAKISTAN MARKS INDEPENDENCE DAY AMID FINANCIAL CRISIS





AS PAKISTAN TURNS 75 WILL ITS PEOPLE FINALLY RISE ABOVE THE FAULT LINES?

Aasim Sajjad Akhtar
https://www.dawn.com/news/1704488/as-pak...ault-lines
  We must turn our gaze to the natural environment and recognise the imperative of building a progressive and shared vision of the future.

On the 76th anniversary of its founding as a modern nation-state, Pakistan’s struggles appear unending. Will we ever move beyond the logic of a rentier state run by an unrepresentative military-bureaucratic oligarchy more answerable to foreign patrons than its own people? Can we generate the political will to enforce redistribution of wealth and power so as to change our course? In a polity riven by seemingly interminable conflict, will the state and its official ideologues continue peddling obsolete ideologies about an indivisible Muslim nation? Such big-picture questions will likely frame political and intellectual debates about Pakistan for the foreseeable future. But it is all too often the case that macro-level commentary about society, economy and polity ignores the subjectivities of the very people in whose name the state and/or the ruling class claims to operate.

In what follows, I offer both a taxonomy of the various social groups and forces that constitute ‘the Pakistani people’ and some reflections on our putatively collective future.

Youth will rule the world
In case anyone needs reminding, Pakistan is one of the youngest countries in the world. An estimated 65 per cent of our population — approximately 150 million people — is below the age of 23. Meeting their education, health, employment and other basic needs, including that of a dignified life, must inform any meaningful political force worth its name. Perhaps even more urgent is the imperative of ensuring that many of our already fragile ecosystems do not collapse entirely — young people will bear the brunt of such eventualities.

Naively optimistic slogans about the youth bulge offering a great opportunity, especially in an age of digitalisation, are neither here nor there. A rapidly growing segment of our youthful population is already online, and tends mostly towards atomisation on the one hand, and hateful herd behaviour on the other.

The rot, however, precedes digitalisation. Up to 25 million school-going children are either begging on the streets or engaged in other forms of child labour. Children who do get to attend school are subjected to ideologically-doctored curricula and a culture of rote learning that not only stifles their creative impulses but makes them fodder for hateful politics as they grow older.

Finally, the relatively small percentage of young people who acquire higher education are like assembly-line workers securing increasingly meaningless degree certification — the job market is already highly saturated and in any case, favours the already influential who can deploy rishwat or sifarish.

As more and more are confronted with ecological disasters due to capitalist ‘development’, this mass of already frustrated and parochially-minded youth will militate towards no-holds-barred internecine conflict. Already this year, we have experienced a heavily curtained spring season and one of the hottest and driest April-May periods in history; unseasonal glacier melts in Gilgit-Baltistan and multiple bridge collapses on the KKH up to Kohistan; devastating monsoon-related flooding in Karachi as well as remote parts of Balochistan and the Siraiki belt; and acute shortages of water in Sindh, especially downstream of the Kotri Barrage.

Pakistan’s young people will figuratively come to ‘rule the world’ by dint of generational change, but will they learn to rule in different ways to the current crop of generals and political opportunists? The only hope is to inculcate progressive ideas within our youth to avert the worst-case scenario and instead forge an alternative future, but time is short.

All animals are equal but …
For a progressive alternative to take root within young people, we must first acknowledge that they are divided along many fault lines — only then is it possible to chart a future with popular support while healing historical wounds. Arguably, the most significant of these fault lines is ethnic-national. The military establishment and many mainstream politicians appear to have been reluctant from the very beginning to recognise the demands for dignity, resources and political freedom of all of the distinct ethnic-nations that comprise Pakistan. In fact, the popular sentiment is that they have relied too much — and continue to do so today — on the consent they generate from the majoritarian Punjabi ethnic group whilst paying pittance to Balochis, Sindhis, Pashtuns, Siraikis and many others.

Progressive-minded youth offer an alternative. At its zenith, the youth-led Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM), for example, tried to make common cause with youth from other ethnic-national backgrounds even as it foregrounded the sufferings of Pashtun tribal districts under the ‘war on terror’ regime. But the PTM was met with state repression and the age-old accusation of ‘foreign conspiracy’. One of its primary leaders, Ali Wazir, has been in jail for two years in multiple trumped up cases.

Baloch youth are arguably even more disaffected, and there is little sign of let up in the heinous policy of enforced disappearances. It would certainly appear as if the establishment — and the mainstream politicians who dare not challenge it — are unwilling to change historical policies vis-à-vis Baloch youth. This will only alienate them further and engender more hateful conflict. Neither will other young people who perceive themselves to be second-class citizens, nay colonial subjects, become more ‘loyal’ if things stay as they are.

Punjabis will remain the overwhelming majority of Pakistan’s population in years and decades to come. In the current conjuncture, most Punjabi youth are picking sides between the PML-N and PTI even as the establishment-centric political-economic order remains largely unchallenged. The challenge of inculcating alternative ideas to forge a shared future is therefore most acute in Punjab, otherwise our ethnic peripheries will continue to burn.

Defeating majoritarian tyranny
In fact, Punjab also represents the primary support base of millenarian groups like the Tehrik-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP). Whether their aspirations for a ‘better life’ are unmet or because they are simply predisposed to the highly masculine and forceful rhetoric of figures like Khadim Rizvi, records reflect that young men in Punjab, including those who have acquired secondary and tertiary education, have been seen to deploy violence at will against minorities.

The phenomenon of religious militancy is certainly not limited to Punjab — the TLP has garnered support amongst Sindhi and Muhajir youth well, while the Taliban are resurgent in Pashtun areas — but it would be foolish not to pay attention to the Punjab as the primary repository of majoritarianism.
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On the other hand, the fear that exists within the heads and hearts of young people hailing from minoritarian religious groups in Pakistan cannot be understated. They are forced to demonstrate that they are ‘Good Muslims’ at every juncture of their lives. There are some, like Punjabi Christians, for example, that are subjected to religious, caste and class discrimination all at once. Most Punjabi Christian children grow up in katchi abadis that resemble walled ghettoes and go to schools where they are subjected to sub-human status and xenophobic ‘education’. For the most part, they replicate their parents’ lives as domestic servants or sweepers. And then they are regularly evicted from their shanties under the pretext of being ‘illegal encroachers’.

In Punjab and beyond, to imagine a progressive future is to recognise that majoritarian tyranny is not just limited to the articulation of religious or ethnic-national identity but is invariably tinged by caste and class. And then there is gender.

To be a woman in Pakistan
Pakistan today is, in no uncertain terms, one of the most patriarchal societies in the world. Girls, women, trans and non-binary peoples are subjected to myriad forms of domination, discrimination, and sexual violence. That there is today greater disclosure about these everyday realities in our public sphere is an important but ultimately small step towards redressing gendered oppression in all of its various guises.

Like with all other segments of our predominantly young population, girls, women and other oppressed genders are far from a monolith. Their political subjectivities are also highly variegated — the groundbreaking Aurat Marches may have triggered the average Pakistani man most of all, but many women who have imbibed entrenched notions of femininity as well as official state ideology have also expressed visceral opposition.

Beyond culture wars, some argue that Pakistani patriarchy will be most effectively challenged by enhancing women’s participation in the labour force, often invoking Bangladesh as a ‘successful’ case to be emulated. That girls, women and other oppressed genders need and must be granted greater economic opportunities — and autonomy — is indisputable. But it is important to place the struggles of oppressed genders within the context of the wider challenges faced by all youth, and here I am referring most of all to capitalist ‘development’ and its relationship to climate change.

Furthermore it is worth bearing in mind that patriarchal attitudes and violence in society — within the home, places of religious worship, workplaces and public spaces in general — must be challenged in their own right. Here too, progressive feminist ideas must be demystified and then imbibed by a wide cross-section of society, men and boys most of all. As with all of the other challenges that we face, there is no quick fix here, only a long-term horizon to which we can aspire.

When all is said and done
Of course such long-term horizons will only come to pass if they acquire traction within a wide cross-section of society. It is folly to harbour any expectation that Pakistan’s current ruling elite — including the military establishment and most mainstream political players — will ever subscribe to such progressive visions of the future, the PTI included.

But it is worth dwelling on the PTI briefly because it has successfully mobilised significant numbers of young people over the past decade, particularly in Punjab. That the majority of this newly politicised segment of youth has imbibed relatively superficial ideas and often relies on hateful sloganeering confirms that the PTI is very much part of the problem, rather than a genuine long-term solution.

But the fact that young people are able and willing to demand a stake in politics represents an opening for progressive ideas and, ultimately, a genuine alternative. It is certainly no small task to bring together young people across the ethnic peripheries and metropolitan Pakistan or to transcend other forms of majoritarian tyranny and patriarchal domination. The challenge appears even more daunting when one considers the often reactionary nature of political communication takes in online spaces.Which is why we must turn our gaze to the natural environment and recognise the imperative of building a progressive and shared vision of the future.

Nature is warning all of us — the younger generations of Pakistanis most of all — that carrying on with business as usual is no longer tenable. The extent to which enough segments of ‘the people’ pay attention to her increasingly forceful reminders will shape our collective future.


PAKISTAN ELITE AND ANCHOR PERSONS ARE FIXATED ON THE DOLLAR RATE AND IT ISN'T HELPING THE ECONOMY 
S. Akbar Zaidi
https://www.dawn.com/news/1704619/fixated-on-the-dollar

THE preoccupation of the Pakistani elite over the last several weeks has been simply to focus on the dollar-rupee exchange rate. For them, nothing else has mattered as much since the rupee lost a significant amount of its value.


One can understand why Pakistan’s elite is such an ardent follower of the dollar rate, since much of what they buy, where they buy it, where they holiday and the assets they hold are in dollar-denominated terms, if not literally then at least in their aspirations. Holidays and shopping abroad, the cost of tickets, education for their children, money being sent to support their offspring, and much more, understandably comes down to how easily and cheaply they can buy dollars. For them, the economy is simply the dollar rate.

This is also the case, it seems, for a huge section of the 7pm-11pm slot on television, known as ‘talk shows’, crafted around anchors who know nothing of basic economics. Many of these now very famous and influential anchors and other regular hosts know a great deal about politics, perhaps a little about complex, complicated and controversial judicial decisions, and a lot about what the military’s political machinations are, but the economy is not their forte. Fair enough, everyone has their niche and expertise.

What is surprising then, is that like most people who know nothing about a particular technical issue, they hold forth and demonstrate their complete ignorance. This is also the case with their political guests, most of whom attempt to score points against their political rivals regarding economic issues of which they know very little. As someone once wrote: everyone’s an economist these days, particularly those who know nothing about economics.

For these talk shows, over the last few months, it has also been the dollar-rupee rate which has mattered most, and the few economists invited as guests are absurdly asked to predict what is going to happen to the dollar rate over the next few days. As if we know.

This is not to argue that the dollar is of no consequence to Pakistan’s economy — far from it, for it is, what with our huge foreign debt and perpetual balance-of-payments crisis — but that it is merely one, albeit an important, metric about the state of the economy and nothing more. Moreover, it also not the single most important indicator about the state of the economy; there are numerous others which can claim that slot. A thriving and robust economy which focuses on redistribution would be less affected by the exchange rate.

The dollar exchange rate does matter because we import most of our oil, and now increasingly, a greater part of our very basic food, as well as industrial and consumption goods’ inputs. If the price of the dollar were to double in a short span of time, one immediate impact would be, as it has been, an increase in the price of imported goods, particularly furnace oil, having a subsequent impact on numerous other goods and products, especially power tariffs and transport.

Economic and public action — and particularly inaction — could be of more consequence to the economy than the effect of devaluation. Many decisions have a far greater impact on people’s lives than how many rupees one needs to hustle to buy any number of dollars. One of the most important aspects of an economy seldom discussed in these pages and never in talk shows is inequality, both in terms of access and as an input, but also, more importantly, as an output or consequence of neoliberal capitalist economics, which creates and accentuates inequality.

If the redistribution of opportunities and of resources was central to our economic and political economy, the dollar exchange rate would be of less consequence. What would matter would be job creation, equal access to free and quality education and healthcare. A thriving and robust economy which focuses on redistribution would be less affected by the exchange rate, with production and distribution mattering more.

Another equally important feature for a robust economy not in thrall of the dollar would be gender equality. Precisely when the chattering classes, at their dinner parties or on talk shows, were obsessing with the exchange rate, the Global Gender Report for the current year was published. The fact that Pakistan was second from last is of far more consequence than what the dollar rate is today, but other than a few op-eds, as always women were sidelined in the public discourse, because at that time everyone was apparently too concerned with the dollar rate.

Even if the public discussion would not have been held hostage to the dollar rate, this annual report would have received little coverage. Yet what happens to gender is far more important than what happens to cheaper trips abroad.

When the dollar-rupee rate comes down, as seems probable — at least temporarily, for some months — the persistent and ignored problems related to the economy will continue to be brushed under the table. Who wants to talk about strong and progressive taxation affecting the rich, or gender equality, or redistribution of resources? It’s always sexier to talk about the dollar on talk shows or on op-ed pages.

Imagine a talk show on equal rights for all, or opportunities for the poor other than the Benazir Income Support Programme. The longer we ignore substantive issues, the more our economy will be counted as amongst the worst performing in the world and having the third highest inflation currently. Once we better manage our economy, concentrating on the economic rights of individuals, redistributive justice and taxing the privileged who continue to lobby to get their miniscule tax imposed on them overturned, the dollar will become insignificant. Until then, expect more chatter at dinner parties of the privileged and on television by the uninformed, all fixated on the dollar.

PAKISTAN'S UNIVERSITIES AT 75
Pervez Hoodbhoy
https://www.dawn.com/news/1704620/pakist...ties-at-75
 

AT birth, Pakistan inherited Punjab University in Lahore, the only among the Raj’s 16 universities. Seventy-five years later, there are 120-plus officially recognised universities. Roughly an equal number of non-recognised institutions are self-declared teaching universities. College numbers have skyrocketed from 30-35 to 1,500 or more. Higher education has taken off — or so it seems.

Commonly touted signs of success: most universities boast lists with a PhD against every teacher’s name and award a fantastically large number of doctoral degrees. Research is thriving. A half joke is that professors are publishing so many research papers and books these days they have no time to even read what they write. But in fact it’s no joke at all!


One superstar professor with the highest Pakistani national award is credited with 1,000 mathematics research papers over three years — almost one per day. Another publishes an average of 25 thick books in chemistry research (about one per two weeks) every year and dozens of papers annually. In 2020, Stanford University reportedly chose 81 Pakistani scientists from 159,683 scientists across the world. The myth lives although Stanford flatly [url=https://www.dawn.com/news/1595282/the-academic-rankings-racket]denied the report.



For all these ‘successes’, within campuses the stench of intellectual rot is overpowering. Ask a prolific author to present his research work before an informed audience and hackles rise. Rare is the professor, dean, or vice chancellor who reads books for pleasure or can sensibly debate some current academic topic. Most cannot name the last serious book they read, fiction or otherwise.



Scholarly discourse is rare and even basic competencies can be difficult to find in universities. Rare also is the professor who delivers an academic lecture in syntactically correct Urdu or English. A bastardised admixture is normal for this linguistically troubled country. Writing skills? Even with correcting smartphones and computers, deciphering what a professor or student really wants to say isn’t always easy. Brilliant exceptions exist but, of course, exceptions are exceptions.



Academic poverty becomes more visible upon traversing softer fields like business administration and digital marketing towards harder ones like mathematics and physics. In those 20-30 university departments that teach harder subjects only a few dozen professors can solve 12th-grade A-level math-physics problems or compete with a good pre-university Vietnamese student.



Social sciences and liberal arts are relatively better off. But professors and students must worry about red lines. Appealing to abstract canons of academic freedom won’t help since ‘imported’ Western concepts are scorned. A case in point is the discipline of philosophy. This requires unfettered freedom to explore. Nine philosophy departments notwithstanding, can anyone name a single Pakistani philosopher accepted as such by the international community of philosophers?



A still seamier, uglier side: some universities brazenly sell degrees under the counter, professors demand money from students in exchange for grades, administrators boost personal incomes through fixing appointments, and sexual harassment is okay until it becomes too visible. Although the student body is hyper religious, regular in prayer and eager to lynch blasphemers, yet most are comfortable with cheating in examinations. Surveying the landscape of this broken system one asks: what created such appalling intellectual deserts punctuated by just an occasional oasis? History gives the answer.



Living in the dream world of past glories, two centuries ago the Muslims of north India were dead set against modern secular education and the influx of new European ideas. The heroic efforts of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan to fight for science, English language, and modern learning met some success but not enough. His Aligarh Muslim University, the so-called “arsenal of Muslim India”, eventually became the forward base for the Pakistan Movement. However, contrary to his hopes, AMU failed to become an Oxford or Cambridge.



Acceptance of non-madressah education was slow and grudging. It came too late. At partition, most professors were Hindus who fled to India once rioting began. Abandoned senior posts were promptly seized by junior Muslim professors and lecturers. Bypassing due process, political appointments allowed academic mediocrities to become department heads, deans and vice chancellors. The new gatekeepers were perennially suspicious of potential challenges to their authority. Thus each new generation slipped behind the previous one. A degenerative cycle explains the present.



To fix, two different directions were taken. First, after Gen Musharraf joined the war on terror, American dollars rained from the skies. All earlier objections to niggardly government spending evaporated. New universities and new buildings sprouted together with new salary scales for professors, cash for publishing papers, stipends for PhDs, overseas scholarships, and sparkling new equipment.



Second, and more recently, in the name of discipline and organisation, the leadership of some large universities was handed to retired military officers. Universities in Islamabad have many such heads now. These retirees have created souped-up versions of cadet colleges they attended in Hasanabdal and Kohat. Dress and hairstyles are tightly controlled. So are thoughts. What’s the way ahead? If the smoking genie from Aladdin’s lamp was to somehow appear and ask me for three wishes, here would be my list:



First, I wish that Pakistani professors turn into an ethical community. This means don’t reward or punish a student for any reason except academic performance; don’t pretend you know the answer to a question which you don’t actually know; don’t publish a research paper unless it has something new and important to say; don’t defend your friends once they have been caught; and don’t think you are entitled to your salary unless you actually work for it.


Second, I wish we could all be excited by the vast amounts of knowledge generated by the day. Every one of us would then struggle to constantly self-learn and self-educate. In a world of incredibly rapid change, the university degree you earned yesterday means little today. Unless professors run with their changing field they cannot inspire their students.


Third, I wish all teachers and administrators acknowledge their ethical responsibility to produce young adults who can think for themselves. This means the still-dominant authoritarian traditions of teaching must go. Instead of being automatically entitled to respect by students, every teacher must earn this by demonstrating a high level of maturity and knowledge.

Hopefully the genie will grant my wishes. But I can’t seem to find that magic lamp.




AT 75 YEARS PAKISTAN IS VIEWED AS THE SICK MAN OF SOUTH ASIA. CAN IT HEAL OVER THE NEXT 25?
https://www.dawn.com/news/1704173/at-75-...he-next-25


Without enriching the many, not just the few, Pakistan can never be an inclusive, innovative, and independent country.

Uzair M. Younus

 

The year is 2047 and Pakistan, once dubbed by this author as the sick man of South Asia in 2022, is now an upper middle-income country. The economy has grown by an average of 7.5 per cent per year since 2025, raising GDP per capita to over $8,000. Organisations measuring human development hail the country as being inclusive, innovative, and most important of all, independent.

Its political system is stable and democratic; women lead some of its most iconic global companies; and tens of millions of people have been lifted out of poverty in the process. The two most popular candidates for becoming prime minister have cut their teeth running Pakistan’s largest cities, converting them into Asian megacities that are the envy of the world.


Back to reality

As Pakistanis celebrate the country’s 75th Independence Day anniversary, achieving such an outcome in the next 25 years may sound like the fantasies of a man hooked on the good stuff. After all, the last few decades have laid bare the multiple crises engulfing Pakistan.

But this need not be the case, for Pakistan and its citizens, the majority of whom are under the age of 25, have both the capacity and will to radically change the trajectory of their homeland by 2047.


Dr Ali Hasanain, the former Head of the Economics Department at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), has argued in his public remarks that guaranteeing the security of citizens’ life, having in place a system that protects their property, and a justice system that upholds contracts in the state are critical ingredients for progress. Without these core ingredients, he rightfully argues, economic progress is always going to be stunted and exclusionary.


The brighter side of his argument is that the dream of an inclusive, innovative, and independent society requires reforms that deliver on the basics: guaranteeing the security of life, property, and contract.


Violent tendencies

From its very early days, Pakistan has failed to focus on these core ingredients. Birthed in the tumult of partition, the land of the pure has been plagued with violence of all kinds since its founding. One of the very first outbursts of violence occurred in 1950 between Hindus and Muslims in what was then East Pakistan. The three-month spree of violence killed tens of thousands and forced the migration of even larger numbers.


What happened in East Pakistan at the time soon engulfed West Pakistan, with the 1953 anti-Ahmadi riots in Lahore causing widespread killing, looting, and arson. The violence was ended with the imposition of martial law for three months in Lahore, and the ultimate dismissal of the Khwaja Nazimuddin government.

These violent events during Pakistan’s early years foreshadowed much of the tumult that was to come, including the ghastly horrors in East Pakistan in 1971, the continuous persecution of minorities — which continues to this day — and the critical role of the military in the country’s political economy.

Individuals who spoke truth to power frequently found themselves behind bars, and while most with privilege survived, countless citizens breathed their last while being held in illegal confinement. Each wave of overt military intervention worsened the security outlook for citizens, with the Musharraf regime’s policies after 9/11 unleashing the most devastating wave of violence the country had seen in decades.

The normalisation and at times celebration of violence continues to plague Pakistan and this violence at times finds patronage across civilian and non-civilian institutions as well.

An example is the Nazim Jokhio case in Sindh, where the person accused of the murder was welcomed by the leadership of the Pakistan Peoples Party ahead of the no-confidence vote in the National Assembly against Imran Khan.

Another is the ghastly lynching of Priyantha K. Diyawadana, a Sri Lankan man working at a factory in Sialkot; the brutal murder after blasphemy allegations goes to show how normalised and intertwined violence has become with everyday life in Pakistan.

Citizens on the periphery of Pakistan’s political economy have been awaiting the release of their loved ones for years. Women, who are half of the country’s population, experience unimaginable physical and emotional violence every single day: the 2017-18 Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey shows that almost 1 in 3 women have experienced physical violence since turning 15!

Lack of human security in a society forces individuals to focus on the security of themselves and their loved ones in the here and now. These basic needs related to safety, categorised as “deficiency needs” in Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, must first be met before members of society focus on other, higher-level pursuits.

And while Maslow’s hierarchy is debated in academia, the common-sense logic of this hierarchy, where a human being’s true potential is left unfulfilled due to lack of safety and security, cannot be ignored. This creates an entire generation of citizens who are happy to not rock the boat too much, for voicing their views openly could land them in prison or worse, bring a premature end to their lives.

At scale, this insecurity stunts economic growth by increasing what financial and economic experts refer to as the risk premium demanded by investors. In a society prone to higher degrees of violence, investors will demand higher rates of return to mitigate the potential losses that could emanate from various events, including rioting and looting.

This normalisation of violence means that foreign companies and investors are likely to refrain from sending managerial talent to a country like Pakistan. Even when they do make the decision, they will have to bear extra insurance and security costs for their staff, which is just one of many ways in which the cost of doing business in a country goes up due to lack of security.

The end result is that Pakistan’s economy would struggle to bring in foreign expertise and talent critical to modernising its economy and generating sustainable growth.

The land belongs to the rich and powerful

Security of property is closely linked to security of life — a society where the owner of property remains insecure will have a tough time protecting said owner’s property. Talk to any expert worth their weight in Pakistan about problems that ail the country and lack of land reforms will make its way into the top three. While India under Nehru managed to push through land reforms at scale, Pakistan’s leaders failed.

Even Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s efforts fell short despite his immense popularity, meaning that feudalism remains a reality across Pakistan, especially across much of Sindh and Punjab. But land reforms are meaningless without property rights — after all, well-heeled and well-armed elites will not shy away from forcibly occupying land belonging to less-privileged members of society.

The recent, most public evidence of the lack of property rights in Pakistan is the Bahria Town case in Karachi. Land that belonged to citizens for generations was forcibly taken away in collusion with the government to develop a housing society. The case ended up in front of the highest forum for justice, which basically legalised the occupation of private land by telling the occupier to pay fines.


China-cutting is a word almost every citizen of Karachi knows — it is nothing more than the use of force and elite networks to occupy property. In a society where such things become the norm, efficient allocation of capital towards productive endeavours becomes nearly impossible.

The lack of property rights enforcement is not just limited to land: the nationalisation of a whole host of industries under the Zulfikar Ali Bhutto government also violated citizens’ property rights. The negative impact of the nationalisation continues to cast a long shadow over Pakistan’s economy to this day and the country remains handicapped by loss-making state-owned enterprises that are sucking scarce resources from Pakistani taxpayers.


An economy where property is not secure struggles to attract investment in capital-intensive sectors, especially from foreign sources. When influential members of society find that they can forcibly take over property without any punishment, they are likely to leverage all their influence to double down on their actions in the future.


As a result, less privileged members of society are going to be robbed of their wealth, leading to the development of an exclusionary economic system where upward social mobility remains unattainable for broad swathes of society.


The trust factor

Compounding these challenges is the lack of trust people have in contractual obligations.

Modern industrialised societies are governed by a complex web of relationships held together by contracts. From an agreement to pay someone within 30 days of receipt of goods — a common timeline for sale and purchase of goods — to agreements governing use of intellectual property and payment of royalties, 21st century economies require an efficient and equitable system that governs and enforces contracts.


Pakistan fares poorly in this regard with individuals and businesses alike frequently violating contracts and getting away with it without punishment. It is the norm for cases to go on for decades and for those with power and privilege to run roughshod over their contractual obligations.


A familiar example of this is payment of wages on time. Many readers will either have experienced or know of people who are routinely not paid on time for their labor — this is a contractual violation and in countries with efficient judicial systems, grounds for major lawsuits.


Individuals and businesses are not the only ones who ignore their contractual obligations in Pakistan. It is common for the sovereign to not pay its liabilities on time, which is why there is the energy and commodity circular debt in the country. Those who have experience working in Pakistan or dealing with its government know about these issues. As a result, even the IMF demands Pakistan first conduct prior actions on its agreements before the money is disbursed; if the country had a track record of holding up its end of the obligation, the IMF would not force such prior actions on Pakistan.


The consistency with which contracts are dishonoured in the economy forces individuals to distrust those they do not know; for a contract, once dishonoured or disputed, can take decades to resolve.


As a result, economic actors choose the security of their clans and communities over the
desire to scale, leading to inefficiencies across the economy. Compounding this issue is a sovereign that also routinely ignores its own contractual obligations, forcing domestic and foreign investors to seek higher guaranteed returns on their investments — this is why electricity tariffs, for example, are denominated in dollars and command a high, guaranteed return on equity.


It is therefore no surprise that Pakistani businesses and entrepreneurs find it astonishingly difficult to get access to growth capital. On the few occasions when this capital is allocated
to small entrepreneurs, the cost of such capital is extremely high, leading to an incentive structure that only rewards investments in protected, rent-seeking sectors where outsized profits can be earned.


A way forward?

Increasing the security for life, property, and contracts in Pakistan is the only way to get rid of the various distortions we see in the country’s economy today. This insecurity is a primary cause of the current low-growth equilibrium the economy finds itself in. And solving this problem is not an economic, but a political challenge. A concerted effort to reform the political system in Pakistan, not its economy, is the critical building block for a stronger, more prosperous nation-state.


The starting point must be the continuous devolution of power, including policing and taxation authority, to the lowest level. A police force that is answerable to locally elected leaders is more likely to be responsive to local issues, key among them the security of individuals and their property.


This is especially true in urban environments, where the power of traditional power-brokers weakens over time. Without an effective police force answerable to locally-elected representatives, the basic tasks of protecting life and property will remain unfulfilled, compounding the types of problems described earlier.


Empowered local governments that raise local taxes are also more likely to be held accountable by their constituents. When resources are mobilised by local representatives, citizens can participate in the process through which their resources are deployed for the benefit of the local community.


Regular elections provide a mechanism through which these representatives can be held accountable, while also fostering a sense of community ownership across the country. As local taxes deliver local benefits, the incentive to evade taxes because the benefits are not visible locally also reduces. In addition, local representatives can aide citizens in safeguarding their property and mediate disputes, further improving the security of life, property, and contract.

While Pakistan has passed the 18th Constitutional Amendment, a major landmark in the country’s history, full devolution of power has not yet occurred. Achieving this goal should be the number one priority as Pakistan looks towards celebrating 100 years of independence.

Judicial reforms, especially at the local level, are also linked to devolution of power. A cursory study of developed economies highlights that most disputes, including economic ones, are efficiently handled by local courts.


In a country like the United States, local judges are elected, making them accountable to the people. An efficient and equitable system of justice is the lifeblood of an economy, protecting the vulnerable and forcing actors to honour their contracts. Mobilisation of local resources can and should be linked to improving the local judicial system, providing resources and training to both magistrates and investigative agencies to deliver speedy justice to all members of society.

Once the state builds its capacity to protect life and property from the bottom up, and individual economic actors begin to honour their contractual obligations, policy can focus on other issues plaguing the economy with more ease. This is because the transmission mechanism, whereby policy actions trickle down to the societal level and lead to change, will be much more efficient, as the state has the capacity, and citizens have the trust in the state, to deliver on its promises.

So long as these basic issues are dealt with by elected officials and their bureaucrats in Islamabad and provincial capitals like Lahore and Karachi, Pakistani society will continue to struggle in meeting its own true potential.


A consistent effort to make life, property, and contract more secure can unlock this latent potential. It will give local actors comfort to think long-term, reduce distortions in the economy, and allow a more efficient allocation of capital and labor. It will also build trust between economic actors and the state, reducing the risk premium domestic and foreign investors demand. Finally, this transition will fundamentally reform the current kleptocratic economy, unlocking opportunities for upward social mobility for millions of citizens. Generating upward social mobility for ordinary citizens should be the north star for Pakistan over the next 25 years, for without enriching the many, not just the few, Pakistan can never be an inclusive, innovative, and independent country.
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RE: PAKISTAN'S VISION 2025 - by globalvision2000administrator - 08-13-2022, 04:25 PM

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