Being a Beggar
and being Proud ?
Editorial, 05 Sep 10
At the moment Pakistan owes US$55 billion to external creditors,
which is equivalent to almost 32% of GDP. In fiscal year
2009-10, the government of Pakistan spent up to US$3.4 billion
servicing this debt, and this figure will increase dramatically
over the next few years with total external debt projected to be
US$74 billion by 2014-5.
ki peetay thay mae aur kehtay thay k haan, Rang layea gi
hamari faqa musti Aik din.
It is a matter of shame that in the aftermath of the recent
floods the only euphoria felt in the country is the growing plea
from all quarters to the world to waive off it's loans to
Pakistan. We are putting ourselves at par with Haiti when it
comes to loans write off, but at the same time claim to be the
citadel of Islam and the only atomic power in the
Muslim world. How unlike a self respecting nation. We are
addicted to begging. which is blatantly in contradiction with
the claims of being a sovereign country. The curse of beggary is
aptly exemplified in the following short anecdote:
A fellow was fed up with his wife's loose character and
her indulgence in the world's oldest profession. He pleaded her
to stop her activities to which the wife agreed upon one
condition. she said if he (the husband) goes out with bowl in
hand and begs in the street for three days she would give up her
activity. The husband readily agreed and set out to beg. After
the three days were over the husband did not bother to contact
his wife.She instead approached him and said "well,
congratulations, you have fulfilled my condition, now I will
fulfill my promise and stop indulging in prostitution". The
husband anxiously replied "no, no, you can continue your
business, I will continue mine".
Dependence on Aid and loans started soon after the death of the
Quaid e Azam and there was never looking back since then.
Pakistan's rulers whether they were in civies or in uniform
never thought about the repayment of the loans which they
amassed progressively in their tenure of powers. No ruler ever
tried to impose Austerity measures on themselves first and in
the government spendings in general at any time except for a prime minister
named Junejo (may God reward him) who ordered all govt servants
including military generals to use home
made suzuki cars. He was soon booted out by the military president Gen Ziaul Haq and so ended a feeble symbolic attempt at adopting
austerity in govt expenditures.
Even today, when the country is faced with the biggest disaster
in it's history, no efforts have been made to adopt austerity.
No personal example has been set by any leader here. Merely canceling Eid celebrations or defense day parade
is a joke and means
nothing. Some basic steps which should be taken to show the govt
is serious about implementing austerity measures is to:
1. Auction all foreign made govt cars and every official from
the president down to the tehsildar should be made to use a
local made car of max 1300 cc. Similarly import of foreign
made vehicles both by the govt and private sector should be
banned for the next 20 years.
2. Construction of houses on more than one Kanal plot should be
banned both in the govt and private sectors. Govt functionaries
including President, PM, Governors, Ministers etc should be made
to shift into one Kanal houses.
3. All foreign tours unless absolutely essential and that too
with minimum personnel should be banned for the next ten years.
4. Keeping the bare security imperatives into
consideration, Defense spendings should be drastically
curtailed. and that too should be discussed in the parliament
6. Our leaders should display pride in their simplicity and
patriotism. Abdul Sattar Eidhi should be made the incharge of
austerity measures in the country with the status of a Vice
President and having sweeping powers in this regard, like that
of military rulers on taking over.
If we wish to come out of the debt quagmire and regain our self
respect, then there is no other way but to adopt severe and
unpopular austerity measures, otherwise we will continue to be in
this degraded state. going from bad to worse with
each passing day.--
Editorial 05 Sep 10
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