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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan needs drastic policy changes to turn around the ailing economy of the country and put it on the path of progress by getting rid of financial assistance dependency on friendly countries and global lending institutions such as World Bank (WB), International Monetary Fund (IMF), and Asian Development Bank (ADB).

This was the crux of a book launch webinar titled, “Pakistan Institutional Instability and Underdevelopment State, People and Consciousness” written by Professor Dr Akmal Hussain organised by the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), here on Wednesday.

While moderating the event, Vice Chancellor (VC) PIDE Dr Nadeemul Haque said that over the years successive Pakistani governments have tried to outsource economy sometimes to the United States (US) sometimes Saudi Arabia, and sometimes to China. It seems Pakistan was not serious about reshaping the economy but only focusing on “joking”.

He deplored that even Pakistani media has no interest in the economy, and economy-related subjects are totally not discussed on TV channels while in print media it was the last subject of interest. For putting the economy on the right track and fixing it, the nation needs to seriously start hardwork, he said and added that at present, no one is seriously working especially in public service.

Speaking on the occasion, Professor Dr Akmal Hussain, while introducing his book, said that the book addresses three types of questions: first, it examines why Pakistan's constitution has been frequently violated, focusing on relationship between rules and populace. Second, it explores consciousness of people regarding the constitution and its rules established post-independence.

Lastly, it explores into the persistence of Pakistan's underdevelopment, defining development in terms of institutions and incentives that enable societal potential to flourish.

He said that the origins of Pakistan's constitution from former British rulers and its universal premises regarding human rights, freedom of speech, equal opportunities, and constraints on growing inequality. It emphasizes the importance of translating these constitutional principles into language and culture of the people, which early political parties failed to do. Consequently, the constitution did not become an integral part of the people's consciousness, leading to repeated violations without significant public outrage.

Pakistan inherited an institutional structure of governance and growth that engendered a rent-based economy and a patron-client model of governance. This led to a growth process that was unstable on the one hand and marked by endemic poverty on the other. At the same time, the power structure was dominated by the military and to a lesser extent the bureaucracy and landed elite.

The resultant recurrent military interventions into the political system prevented the emergence of a stable democratic and constitutional order that had been envisaged by the founding fathers at the time of independence.

The political and economic dynamics of such a power structure have today reached a point where the country faces a grave institutional crisis that is beginning to undermine the legitimacy of state authority on the one hand and the writ of the state on the other, Dr Akmal Hussain said. He concluded that the country needs serious reforms with serious implementations to move forward.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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Abdul hamid dagia May 09, 2024 10:52am
Pakistan must use local resources Capacities of our factories and Avoid Imports
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KU May 09, 2024 12:47pm
''country faces a grave institutional crisis.....legitimacy of state authority n writ of the state on the other'' is true n primates are used to stepping over carnage and misery without bating an eye.
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Tariq Qurashi May 09, 2024 01:08pm
We must stop borrowing to survive and learn to export to survive. We are still fire fighting and trying to get IMF loans; we must also focus on the long term and increase our exports.
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