PAKISTAN AS I WANT…

ECONOMICAL ASPECTS
According to my knowledge the economic progress since October 1999 are things like: GDP growth averaging 7 percent annum over the past 3 years. Please ignore the misery of the three years before that. Per capita income doubling to USD 800, perching us precariously on the bottom rung of middle-income countries instead of rubbing shoulders with the poorest nations of Africa. Foreign exchange reserves of USD 13Billion, up from less than half a billion in 1999, never mind the fact that it still represents barely 5 months of imports. Flood of 9/11 motivated inward remittance (likely to hit USD 5.5 billion this year) and Foreign Direct Investment (perhaps as much as USD 3 billion) eager for a share in phenomenal returns available to risk capital in this country. The KSE-100 index leaping tenfold from 1,200 to 12,000 propelling market capitalization to over PKR 3.5 trillion. Before we analyze the above mentioned performance measures, please note that the government whishes that you should ignore other embarrassing statistics such as: 1. Official Consumer price inflation of 9 percent per annum ...100% higher than it was in October 1999. 2. The largest trade (USD 12 billion) and current account (USD 5.5 billion) deficits, both in absolute as well as relative terms, in 60 years history of the country. 3. Serious crime statistics reflecting 100% growth over the past 6 years...with suicide bombings, and citizen disappearances, a la Latin America, now commonplace. 4. Provincial disenchantment and disharmony, secessionary mayhem across Balochistan, and Taliban resurgency in NWFP. All grim reminders of a national fabric being torn asunder.

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Surely, if the Government wishes to take credit for its so-called achievements, it must acknowledge that its own policies have also saddled the nation with the horrors summarized above. Now let us commence demolishing the icons of Government propaganda one by one. Conclusion: That the country has enjoyed annual GDP growth averaging 7 percent per annum over the past three years is in fact a "white lie". For the uninitiated, some background first. There is a simple economic concept called the "Capital Input-Output Ratio". Put simply, it states that annual GDP growth cannot be greater than a third of the ratio of incremental capital formation to GDP. In other words, if our annual savings run around 10 percent of GDP (14 percent if we include inward remittances), then by the wildest stretch of imagination, our maximum GDP growth cannot exceed 4.7 percent per annum. So, our paternalistic Government is guilty of outright lies. Our economy...even in these best years as claimed by the Government...has never grown at rates over 2-4 percent per annum. In fact, if we account for the 2.1 percent per annum annual growth in our population, in per capita terms, the economy has remained almost stagnant! How can it get away with such flimflam, you say? Well, because in its smugness it knows that in a nation where actual literacy is less than 5%, how many know the meaning of Input-Output ratios? The answer is Zero.

I WANT Pakistan must strive to maintain its present level of macroeconomic
stability. The most important thing needed is the will power of the ruling elite and the continuity of structural reforms undertaken by the military government. The country is now on the path to macroeconomic stability and is less vulnerable to external shocks than it was a decade ago. There has been improvement in all of the major macroeconomic indicators. Pakistan has two options to achieve macroeconomic stability. The first option is to depend upon external actors like the IMF and World Bank, along with other international 2 “Pakistan As I Want” (Pakistan Studies Topic) | Qazi M. Ashfaq

financial institutions, to assist Pakistan in achieving macroeconomic stability. But historical evidence has shown that the IFIs have been unable to solve all of Pakistan's economic problems. There has been abundant criticism of IFI lending conditionalities in Pakistan. I do not deny the role of these institutions in the economic development of Pakistan, but argue for less dependence on these institutions. The second option for Pakistan, which could be more realistic and rational, is for it to put its own house in order to achieve macroeconomic stability. Pakistan has the potential for economic stability, provided sound fiscal policies are pursued, economic governance is improved, political stability is achieved, internal differences among different segments of the society are mended, and the law and order situation is improved. The following steps are suggested to improve Pakistan's macroeconomic stability. Strengthening Institutions To begin with, there is an urgent need to continue addressing the internal security situation. Police and the judiciary are the guardians of law and order. The military government has already introduced reforms in the security services through a new police ordinance. Yet the police are still over-burdened and corruption remains a problem. The success of recent reforms is largely dependent on moving toward full implementation of the new ordinance. Also, Achieving Good Governance Expanding Human Development Initiatives Human development and economic development are high Increasing Foreign Direct Investment Enhancing and Sustaining a Growing GDP Achieving a Favorable Trade Balance Managing the Debt

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POLITICAL ASPECTS
I would like to draw a sketch of Pakistan’s political history. What happened in politics of Pakistan from idea of Pakistan till postponement of Election 2008. Concept of New Country: The concept of an independent Muslim nation emerged from the aftermath of the Indian Rebellion of 1857. In 1885, the Indian National Congress was founded to promote a nationalist cause. Although the Congress attempted to include the Muslim community in the independence struggle and some Muslims were very active in the Congress, the majority of Muslim leaders did not trust the party, viewing it as a "Hindu-dominated" organization. Some Muslims felt that an independent united India would inevitably be "ruled by Hindus", and that there was a need to address the issue of the Muslim identity within India. Thus in 1877, Syed Ameer Ali formed the Central National Muhammadan Association to work towards the political advancement of the Muslims, but the organisation declined towards the end of the nineteenth century. Independence: On the 14th and 15th of August, 1947, British India was partitioned into the new independent Dominions of Pakistan and India respectively, with both dominions joining the British Commonwealth. Partition left Punjab and Bengal, two of the biggest provinces, divided between India and Pakistan. In the early days of independence, more than two million people migrated across the new border and more than one hundred thousand died in a spate of communal violence. In 1948, Jinnah declared in Dhaka that Urdu would be the only state language of Pakistan. First military era (1958-1971) The Dominion was dissolved on 23 March, 1956 and replaced by the Islamic Republic of Pakistan with the last Governor-General, Iskandar Mirza, as the first president. Just two years later the military took control of the nation. Field Marshal Ayub Khan became president and began a new system of government called Basic Democracy 4 “Pakistan As I Want” (Pakistan Studies Topic) | Qazi M. Ashfaq

with a new constitution, by which an electoral college of 80,000 would select the President. Ayub Khan almost lost the controversial 1965 presidential elections to Fatima Jinnah. During Ayub's rule, relations with the United States and the West grew stronger. Pakistan joined two formal military alliances — the Baghdad Pact (later known as CENTO) which included Iran, Iraq, and Turkey to defend the Middle East and Persian Gulf against the Soviet Union; and SEATO which covered South-East Asia. However, the United States adopted a policy of denying military aid to both India and Pakistan during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 over Kashmir and the Rann of Kutch. Second democratic era (1971-1977) Civilian rule returned after the war, when General Yahya Khan handed over power to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. In 1972, Pakistani intelligence learned that India was close to developing a nuclear bomb, and in response, Bhutto formed a group of engineers and scientists, headed by nuclear scientist Abdus Salam — who later won the Nobel Prize for physics — to develop nuclear devices. In 1973, Parliament approved a new constitution. General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq took power in a bloodless coup and Bhutto was later executed, after being convicted of authorizing the murder of a political opponent, in a controversial 4-3 split decision by the Supreme Court. Second military era (1977-1988) Pakistan had been a US ally for much of the Cold War, from the 1950s and as a member of CENTO and SEATO. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan renewed and deepened the US-Pakistan alliance. The Reagan administration in the United States helped supply and finance an anti-Soviet insurgency in Afghanistan, using Pakistan as a conduit. Third democratic era (1988-1999) From 1988 to 1999, Pakistan was ruled by civilian governments, alternately headed by Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, who were each elected twice and removed from office on charges of corruption. Economic growth declined towards the end of this

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period, hurt by the Asian financial crisis, and economic sanctions imposed on Pakistan after its first tests of nuclear devices in 1998. Third military era (1999-onwards) On 12 October, 1999, Sharif attempted to dismiss army chief Pervez Musharraf and install ISI director Khwaja Ziauddin in his place, but senior generals refused to accept the decision. Musharraf, who was out of the country, boarded a commercial airliner to return to Pakistan. Sharif ordered the Jinnah International Airport to prevent the landing of the airliner, which then circled the skies over Karachi. In a coup, the generals ousted Sharif's administration and took over the airport. The plane landed with only a few minutes of fuel to spare, and General Musharraf assumed control of the government. He arrested Sharif and those members of his cabinet who took part in this conspiracy. President Clinton felt that his pressure to force Sharif to withdraw Pakistani forces from Kargil in Indian-controlled Kashmir was one of the main reason for Sharif's disagreements with the Pakistani army. President Clinton and King Fahd pressured Musharraf to exile Sharif to Saudi Arabia and guaranteeing he would not be involved in politics for ten years. Sharif lived in Saudi Arabia for more than six years before moving to London in 2005. On May 12, 2000 the Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered Musharraf to hold general elections by October 12, 2002. In an attempt to legitimize his presidency and assure its continuance after the impending elections, he held a controversial national referendum on April 30, 2002, which extended his presidential term to a period ending five years after the October elections. Musharraf strengthened his position by issuing a Legal Framework Order in August 2001 which established the constitutional basis for his continuance in office. While economic reforms undertaken during his regime have yielded some results, social reform programmes appear to have met with resistance. Musharraf's power is threatened by extremists who have grown in strength since the September 11, 2001 attacks and who are particularly angered by Musharraf's close political and military

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alliance with the United States, including his support of the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, and his liberal views on reforming Islam. On November 3, 2007, General Musharraf proclaimed a state of emergency and sacked the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Choudhry along with other 14 judges of the Supreme Court. Lawyers launched a protest against this action but they were arrested. All private media channels were banned including foreign channels. Musharraf declared that the state of emergency would end on December 16, 2007. On November 28, 2007, General Musharraf retired from the Army and the following day was sworn in for a second presidential term. On November 25, 2007, Nawaz Sharif made a second attempt to return from exile, this time accompanied by his brother, the former Punjab chief minister, Shahbaz Sharif. Hundreds of their supporters, including a few leaders of the party were detained before the pair arrived at Lahore International Airport. The following day, Nawaz Sharif filed his nomination papers for two seats in the forthcoming elections whilst Benazir Bhutto filed for three seats including one of the reserved seats for women. On December 27, 2007, Benazir Butto was leaving an election rally in Rawalpindi when she was assassinated by a gunman who shot her in the neck and set off a bomb, killing 20 other people and injuring several more. The exact circumstances of the attack remain unclear because although early reports indicated that Bhutto was hit by shrapnel or the gunshots, the Pakistani Interior Ministry stated that she died from a skull fracture sustained when the explosion threw Bhutto against the sunroof of her vehicle. Bhutto's aides rejected this claim and insisted that she suffered two gunshots prior to the bomb detonation. The Interior Ministry subsequently backtracked from its previous claim. The Election Commission subsequently announced that the elections which had been scheduled for 8 January 2008, were now postponed until 18 February 2008. Conclusion The politics of Pakistan is tremendously personalized. Democracy is still a distant dream in this land because up-in-the-dough personalities and mammoth pressure groups are more powerful than the institutions. The loaded politicians and the power intoxicated 7 “Pakistan As I Want” (Pakistan Studies Topic) | Qazi M. Ashfaq

colossal throngs form their own political parties and use them as tools to ascend to throne to rule over the public in order to fulfill their long-lasting feudalistic hunger for authority. Thus the politics of Pakistan revolves around the commanding hammer men and the influential bunches while the fate of democratic institutions is hanging in the balance. It is rightly said power is intoxication and who are obsessed to abuse cannot live peacefully without it as persons having oil burner habit feel remarkable discomfort when they fail to get the dose. The big cheese who once assume the command feel like a fish out of water when they are ostracized from the arena of rule. Social aspects (still remaining, due to shortage of time)

Over all Conclusion: 2007 was a horrible year, the worst we have suffered since 1971, when the country was rend asunder. Though it has passed, 2007 has created the portents for 2008 to end up with much the same consequences, just as the events of 1970 created the portents for the disaster of 1971. Crooks were let off the hook by America's diktat and zeros were turned into heroes by a dysfunctional government. On January 1 Musharraf was one of the most feted leaders in the world. Come December 31 and he had been transformed himself (nobody else did it to him) into a leader whose intentions the world suspects. No one knows what the new year portends. Anyone making predictions has to be either an incredible fool or incredible soothsayer. I would like to wish all of you a Happy New Year, but I cannot be sure that it will be happy or what it will bring. In fact, I wouldn't bet on it being happy at all but even worse than 2007. With elections postponed till February 18, no one knows what gaggle of unlikely bedfellows will form the new government and how long it will last. But one thing is certain: it will be a motley crew of rank opportunists with little in common except a desire for power to misgovern, loot and plunder more. May God protect Pakistan.

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After the elections and the formation of the new government, the president should say that he has done what he promised to, albeit after a lot of blood and tears. Now, if the new parliament wants him to stay on as president, he would be honoured to serve the country for another five years. Else, he would be equally happy to leave honourably. Pakistan, you see, comes first.

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