BY ALI NAQVI –
Destruction is easy. Construction is difficult, laborsome, painstaking, and above all time-taking. When Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) emerged as the single largest party in the last year’s election, everybody including those who did not vote for it was expecting drastic changes on the political and economic horizon of the country. But they were all wrong. The situation that Pakistan is going through is complicated and critical to say the least. It would be unjust to expect results from any government in the first hundred days or more.
What PTI (Imran Khan) does wrong is to make unrealistic promises one after the other. In the light of election campaign and the agenda for the first 100 days the performance of PTI has not been up to the mark. Dollar exchange rate in the open market is still going higher. Inflation is on the hike. Local and foreign investments have come to a halt. Local industry has already died down. The number of jobless youth is increasing every day. These problems can be addressed and solved. But the actual problem is that there is no plan in sight to overcome the political and economic challenges.
Getting a bailout package from Saudi Arabia, China or the IMF is not a long term solution, if solution at all. We need a national economic strategy to aim at increasing our GDP and GNP. Tax collection reforms are important but that is just the tip of the iceberg if we are looking to revive the economy. The government, it seems, is running on the formula of “a penny saved is a penny earned”. The country will really have to work hard to earn more. The path is not easy. Look at China, a country that is producing everything from a needle to an aircraft by using manpower and labor force in this age of electronics and robotics. Pakistan has never been able to build on its human capital. We have manpower, we have natural resources and we have opportunities. All we need to do is connect the dots.
The PTI government should focus on the development of industry and for that to happen energy sector must be strong enough to take the load. The challenge is bigger and it will not take hundred or hundreds of days. It will take planning and years of execution and implantation and the results will follow. But it is too early to be judgmental about the performance of PTI. The next “hundred days” of PTI government are not going to be any different unless it comes up with a concrete national economic plan while also reforming, health and education sectors of the country.