EDITORIAL: Today, it has been 83 years since a historic resolution was passed for establishment of a separate homeland for the Muslims of British India. On that day, Quaid-i-Azam had said, “The Hindus and Muslims belong to two civilizations which are based on conflicting ideas and conceptions”. This was a powerful assertion bringing to the finale the Two-Nation concept and thus emerged as bedrock for the foundation of Pakistan.
As an independent nation Pakistan emerged as a commanding socio-political polity and its economy surged ahead harvesting a prosperous life of its people.
But that happened only for about two decades and then came the times which failed our forefathers’ dream and Pakistan started losing its political strength and economic vigour.
The present-day Pakistan appears to be a denouement of the century-long struggle precipitating a whole host of its failures on all fronts: politics, economy, and foreign relations.
As the acute form of political polarization tends to undermine our past as a united people who paid great a price in terms of life to be Pakistanis, we seem to have arrived at the precipice of being declared a financial failure and due for default.
It is not the best of time; it surely is the worst of time. While the main money lender, the IMF (International Monetary Fund), is compelling Pakistan to shed its addiction to living beyond its means, our other foreign creditors are seeking to set conditions identical to IMF’s.
Resultantly, the rupee is fast losing ground to the dollar, foreign direct investment is nearly zero and the country’s dependence on imports tends to aggravate inflation.
The essential losers in the game of economic failures are the underprivileged, who are forced to form long queues to receive ‘Eid gift of wheat flour’ while the rich are becoming richer by the day and roads are cluttered with their expensive cars.
And given the extremity of political polarization, the economy is being asked to take the backseat. The country’s political leadership is engaged in a lethal struggle to be on the throne, come what may; the generality must pay for it. Needless to say, these are difficult times for the people of Pakistan. Let this March 23 be the day of national commitment that we are Pakistanis, firstly and lastly.
The challenges that we face are grim threats to our national survival. We have got to win this war as the portents of a defeat are too grim to be imagined and cannot be spelled out. Helen Keller had famously said that “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023