On the edge economic environment.


As the year draws to a close, 2019 for Pakistan has been a turbulent year by any stretch of the imagination. Polarization in the society has increased, institutions that matter in keeping the national governance structure intact appear to be at odds with each other, intolerance, temper and frustration in the society is at a boil, and last but not least, a mockery is being made of an average person's day to day difficulties by claiming that the economy is on the mend while he struggles to even balance his monthly household budget. Surely something is amiss and the government needs to have a serious rethink on its approach to governance over the last 15 months in order to enter 2020 with a new resolve and a fresh mindset to rearrange priorities and improve its performance per se.

It is rather ironic that while we so closely partner China in virtually every sphere of a long-standing bilateral relationship, economic, security and defence, infrastructure development, foreign policy, trade, etc., still the very underlying philosophy of China's success continues to somehow elude us! That is the modern-day Chinese culture of Confucius thinking cum way of doing things: To establish a system of meritocracy without too much fanfare (election plus selection as the Director of Fudon University puts it); prime focus on job creation, poverty eradication, social development and 'local' economic growth; only appointing people with related experience to run an operational state or economic affairs; focus on leadership rather than showmanship - regrettably, the story of PTI thus far has been merely a saga of old rhetoric and new showmanship with little scant regard to tangible substance in delivery of pre-election promises or to an appropriate selection of quality human resource in managing the country's affairs.

Now one can disregard it as a cliche oft-repeated over the last decade or so, but believe it or not the sheer anger on the streets tells a story of fast brewing resentment and possible protest. Come to think of it a deep dive into our situation on the ground and the picture comes across as not being much different to that in Lebanon where people despite a wide religious divide, jointly took on to the street to bring a system down. That is to bring down the Lebanese political order based on an idea that power-sharing between different pillars of the state is the only way to ensure peace and that this formula should extend to everything: Economy...

To continue reading