Govt’s salvation lies in creative problem solving

"If Pakistan wants to break the begging bowl, it needs to see how self-sufficient nations are surviving"

Picture source - Council of Europe

The coalition government promised people economic relief while submitting the no-confidence motion. In fact, increasing inflation and the chaotic economy were the basis for this motion and the movement that they started against the Imran Khan-led government, but so far economic relief cannot be seen.

When Shehbaz Sharif took charge as the new prime minister, an artificial and temporary improvement was seen in the economy. The dollar began to decline, the stock market was going good and the prices of petroleum and gold were in control as well. The public heaved a sigh of relief and looked forward to betterment but it was very short-lived.

The value of the rupee is constantly decreasing against the dollar. Prices of household items are increasing every day at a considerable rate. From vegetables, fruits, and meat, to gold, everything is going up. This is not what we expected from an “experienced” government.

The opposition, which is the new government now, used to blame Imran Khan for his incompetency and inability to run the country, but seems like the new government, which has many turns in its political portfolio, is also unable to process what is happening and where to start. In fact, they do know where to start. First things first, they revisited the Exit Control List to get their names removed from it. Then they went through the passport procedures for Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz on an urgent basis. Now they are fully focused on going through files to see if they can find something against Imran Khan and other PTI members. These are the priorities of the new government, which is disappointing.

Before becoming the prime minister, Imran Khan made a lot of promises as well. But when he came into power, he couldn’t handle the plane as well. His three-year tenure was very bumpy for the common citizens. Throughout his tenure, he had only one explanation for the growing inflation: “Previous government ruined it”. He constantly blamed PML-N and PPP for all the crises during his tenure. And now the pilot and his crew have the same reasoning. They are unable to fix the economy so far, saying that they cannot clean the mess created by the PTI in just a few weeks and it will take time. OK. Valid enough. But what about the policies of PTI that the opposition used to criticize?

The opposition had a major problem when PTI brought the State Bank amendment bill to Parliament. They were all vocal against this bill. They accused PTI of compromising the sovereignty of Pakistan by this bill along with giving State Bank to IMF. Now when both PPP and PML-N are in power, ethically they were supposed to reverse this bill, but the new finance minister Miftah Ismail has clearly stated that he has no intention of reversing the bill for now as it goes against the guidelines of IMF. Ismail had problems when the PTI government was increasing prices of oil on the orders of IMF but it is also submitting before IMF as well.

In Pakistan currently, we have a ton of major pressing issues. Imran Khan tried certain policies and strategies which were unable to deal with those problems and if the new government is also adopting the same strategies as the previous government then there is no chance of improvement at all. Applying the failed strategies can never bring a solution. If the government is serious, it needs to bring reforms and appoint people who have the insight to deal with these issues. If Pakistan wants to break the begging bowl, it needs to see how self-sufficient nations like Iran are surviving. It should also consider Sri Lanka as a case study for the things not to do. Miftah Ismail should closely study these two countries for bringing reforms if they are going to bring any.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif claimed that he will sell his clothes to give us relief. Well, no need to sell your clothes, sir. Just fix your priorities and change your approach. Abandon the strategies that you used to apply in 2013 because they are the ones that eventually led to this chaos we witness today.