This is apropos a Business Recorder op-ed “An economic slide” carried by the newspaper recently. The writer, Ali Khizar, has appeared pessimistic about the current state of economy. According to him, for example, “Ever since the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) came to power, the good governance myth of the top team of senior partner in the ruling coalition, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is unraveling.
First, the myth of ‘Shahbaz super speed’ is broken, and now it’s the turn of the PML-N financial czar, Ishaq Dar. Back in September, Dar landed with tall claims, yet there has been no improvement in the economic fundamentals or sentiments. The risk of default is growing. Negotiations with the IMF over the upcoming review are at a standstill. No firm commitments for investments have been made by friendly countries. Whatever could have gone wrong, has gone wrong.”
Unfortunately, however, the writer has conveniently ignored the fact that the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) government of Imran Khan had bequeathed to the incumbent government an already beleaguered economy. In sum, nothing was right then as well.
The other point that perhaps has skipped the respected writer’s attention the fact that the incumbent coalition government headed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz has taken some profoundly courageous decisions to ensure that the lender of the last resort or our saviour, the IMF, stays in good humour.
The strategy was aimed at helping the country avert sovereign default and the objective was successfully achieved. But the government has done so only after sacrificing its political capital or hurting its own electoral prospects.
Tabinda Mehdi (Karachi)
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022