Breaking the stupor.

The country's policy machinery has of late acted not very different from the indolent ass which inexplicably sets itself down in the middle of a busy street and thereafter refuses to budge. Shout at it, plead with it or even threaten it with a stick - it will not be swayed by reason or remonstration. At least, that is the picture that comes to mind when one tries to wrap their head around why the government has resisted letting go of some patently bad policy decisions that seem to have done tremendously more harm than good. Well, the public's patience is now running short.

The State Bank governor recently got a taste of the people's wrath when he was brought to task for his role in obliging our finance minister's exchange rate fixation.

Jameel Ahmad ought to have expected anger when he visited the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry last Wednesday. In setting severe restrictions on who can be issued letters of credit and for what goods, his institution has earned the ire of countless industries and commercial enterprises that rely heavily on imports to keep their businesses going. But even if he did anticipate trouble, nothing could have prepared him for some of the more colourful protests directed his way.

Frustrated by the government policy to clamp down on imports rather than boost exports or woo more remittance dollars in the absence of an IMF lifeline, the businessmen in attendance came prepared with novel ways to humiliate the...

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