The devel­op­ment dilemma

Enterprise - - Letters - Dr. Za­far Altaf, La­hore

With all that hype about the fu­ture of devel­op­ment based on the ut­ter­ings of our front line min­is­ters, they are aglow with the fu­ture out­come but no one seems to talk of the present as an in­di­ca­tion of devel­op­ment. Have we been good to the peo­ple of Pak­istan?

Have we been able to un­der­stand the lim­its of the gov­ern­ment? What con­sti­tutes mod­ern lib­erty and why should the lead­ers be in eco­nomic con­flict in terms of gov­er­nance. Re­mem­ber Mar­garet Thatcher whose son was not al­lowed to trade in the UK and he had to leave and do his bit in the US? Or of Wil­son whose friend was caught in au­dit with his hand in the till. Sen­tenced, he was hand­cuffed and brought from France as he had tried to evade the Bri­tish sys­tem of law. Here we have un­fet­tered author­ity to do with the cit­i­zens of Pak­istan as we please be­cause we are in power. Have we not learnt from his­tory? But re­lent­less we go on? What has hap­pened to that for­eign firm McKin­sey? How much money was spent on them? Why is the cost not listed in the devel­op­ment bud­get? Why is it a se­cret?

China will do won­ders for us? How? Now Qatar will do it for us in the en­ergy sec­tor where all the soorma min­is­ters and ad­vi­sors were un­able to do any­thing. What was the CM Pun­jab do­ing over there? Is it a pro­vin­cial sub­ject? Why do the other CMs not go on jun­ket tour? The US, the UK, the WB, the IMF and all th­ese or­gan­i­sa­tions bi­lat­eral and in­ter­na­tional will not be able to do it. The Ker­ryLu­gar bill was and is a dis­as­ter in as much as they will put the coun­try on the wrong route so that Pak­istan suf­fers some more. Please re­call my ear­lier ar­ti­cles and see how the mat­ters have been per­verted. Now politi­cians have kept front line men as they do not want to be seen to be in­ter­act­ing with th­ese in­ter­na­tional firms and be seen as there touts. We used to hear of Pat­wari boys but now we hear of min­is­ter’s boy, shades of pervert be­hav­iour. In fact we may well be a na­tion of touts be­fore long.

It seems that we are in the world of Mus­solini when he told an ap­plaud­ing au­di­ence ‘we will tram­ple on the de­com­pos­ing body of the god­dess of lib­erty’. Well, he did that but where do we find him? The re­cent lot is un­able to un­der­stand the con­se­quences of their ac­tions. Does lib­erty have any friends? If lib­erty has any friends it is cer­tainly not in the gov­ern­ment of the day. We talk of democ­racy but have we re­alised democ­racy? Democ­racy is not in terms of time that one spends in gov­ern­ment but about de­cency and hu­mane be­hav­iour?

China was to have spent time on en­ergy? Why is it no longer a favourite? En­ergy will be through so­lar or wind en­ergy? Do you have the wind en­ergy cor­ri­dor? Do you have any idea of what it takes to im­ple­ment what they so glibly talk about? There ought to be law of torts in this coun­try for ut­ter­ances be­yond work­able lim­its. Why should any­one be able to make state­ments about an­other when the ev­i­dence is not there?

Clive Lloyd the West Indies cap­tain re­ceived 2 mil­lion pounds in com­pen­sa­tion for car­ry­ing a story that Clive Lloyd was sup­port­ing apartheid. No one has the right to name any one in a slan­der­ous way and al­lowed to get away. But then we be­long to the world of nitwits and never seem to weigh the odds in public pol­icy.

Two meet­ings were sched­uled to be held; one in Serena and the other in Mar­riott. Who will foot the bill for all the par­tic­i­pants that come from the US and where will they be lodged and for how many days will this cir­cuit go on? The bills will be paid out of the Kerry-Lu­gar bud­get. Kerry-Lu­gar as­sis­tance is not a grant but a loan that has been pro­vided. So this has to be paid back. They have let loose lo­calised hit men to serve their cause. One of them is still serv­ing their end in the min­istry. The oth­ers fig­ure in the po­lit­i­cal sys­tem. Please do not be taken in by ar­tic­u­late pol­icy mak­ers. The more they talk the more sus­cep­ti­ble they are to lies. The two top of­fi­cials in the min­istry view him as an in­sur­ance pol­icy. What have been the out­comes of the pre­vi­ous meet­ings? One of them was held in Qatar and for a half hour meet­ing the par­tic­i­pants stayed on for seven days in a sev­en­star ho­tel. It was filthy rich stay. The US prides it­self for not let­ting down their friends. The truth is oth­er­wise. We have had so much trou­ble in this friend­ship that that would re­quire a sep­a­rate ar­ti­cle for I would start from Seato and Cento the two treaties that we went in with Dulles for con­tain­ing com­mu­nism. We are the in­no­cents of this world and lap up what­ever comes our way. Has any­one tried to di­rect the econ­omy of this coun­try based on its own re­sources? It’s a night­mare the doings of this coun­try’s pol­i­cy­mak­ers.

The pol­i­cy­mak­ers have been at it with the find­ings of the Chin­iot iron ore de­posit. All kinds of in­nu­en­dos have been used to project their po­lit­i­cal sys­tem. It has failed and what else is re­quired? The ic­ing on the cake came when the PM an­nounced a change of name for the CID depart­ment. Now it will be counter ter­ror­ism depart­ment, old wine in new bot­tles. The cos­metic changes will not do any­thing. They talk of merit th­ese politi­cians when in the re­cruit­ment of in­spec­tors of po­lice in Pun­jab has al­ready been done by hand­ing over two to three seats per politi­cian. Only one politi­cian from Sar­godha has not utilised his quota. So the en­emy of de­cency and lib­erty is the pol­icy of good­ness. Process or pro­ce­dure has never been fol­lowed. But what Pun­jab has done is to show that they are trans­par­ent when in fact the poli­cies are based on crim­i­nal­ity. Show some­thing else and do some­thing else. What will they do they will give to the peo­ple of Pak­istan 40 years of cor­rupt in­ef­fi­ciency. With PM tak­ing charge for Karachi the writ­ing is on the walls. For the feet of no PM is on the ground ever. He will have his ears for the in­triguers. Mark my words. The PM does not have the Mi­das touch rather what­ever is touched turns to mud.

Can we turn the cor­ner and be­come sta­ble state and eco­nom­i­cally vi­able? Not with the present set up. We need se­ri­ous struc­tural changes. Pak­istan is in­ca­pable of this for the mat­ters are not whim­si­cal but more func­tional in na­ture. Pi­geon-brained can­not do this. A more se­ri­ous in­ter­ven­tion is called for based on one’s own ca­pa­bil­i­ties. But what can you do where the state min­is­ter for en­ergy starts talk­ing of cricket. BS has many con­texts. Depend­ing on your lan­guage abil­i­ties you can de­ci­pher. Each one will be cor­rect but the most in­ter­est­ing will be for the Pun­jabis. The lan­guage is so rich in ex­ple­tives. Each de­scribes the cur­rent gov­ern­ment ad­e­quately.

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