Essay No. 277:
Pakistan Is Not A Poor Country But Poor In Management: According to the statement, Pakistan is not a poor country but poorly managed. As far as the first part of the proposition is concerned, one has reasons to differ with it. Pakistan judged by current economic standards, cannot be ranked as a rich country. The income per capita is very small as compared to developed countries.
More than thirty percent income of the population lives below the poverty line, getting less than a dollar per day. Majority of people do not have an access to clean drinking water facility. The diet the poor people take does not contain protein element and is devoid of nutritional value. The efficiency of a large segment of population is very low.
The country, in short, is stuck up in the vicious circle of poverty, which tends to repeat itself with the passage of time. The state of underdevelopment exists which foils half-hearten efforts to undo it. In short-economic and social indicators lead one to the conclusion that Pakistan is a poor country. Apart from physical poverty, there is poverty is poverty of mind which is the worst form.
By this is meant that the rich and elite classes are mentally tied down to the Western culture and thinking. In all spheres of life, Western values prevail, which are accepted and practiced. No initiative is taken to open new vistas of thinking to thrash new grounds for experimentation. Our planners having received training in the Western thought, do not go beyond it and stick to the Western growth models.
The growth models in developing countries are formulated in the light of Western experience. Problems of under development countries. The need is to evolve growth models, taking into considerations the typical problems besetting the underdeveloped countries. New variables of sociological nature need to be injected into the growth models to make them realistic by way of reflecting the actual socio-politico economic realities.
Poverty of mind is equally reflected on the part of the leaders in the Third World countries who mostly receive instructions from their foreign masters to run the affairs of their countries. Only a few countries with established traditions and institutions, provide strength to their leaders to take independent stand, there by rejecting foreign dictation.
The thinking of the intelligentsia is mostly tied down to the Western way of thought. In other words, poverty’s dimensions are very large. In short, poverty rules in all sectors of life. Pakistan is no exception to it. The foregoing presentation of facts reveals that Pakistan cannot considered as a rich county. However, in terms of resources factor, Pakistan can be branded as a rich country.
Pakistan is rich in natural resources, like minerals, coal, gas, which largely remain unutilized due to a number of economic, technological constraints. Pakistan does not possess sophisticated technology, with the aid of which resources could be harnessed and utilized. Full utilization of resources could be harnessed and utilized. Full utilization of resources cannot be possible unless Pakistan achieves a breakthrough in modern technology.
Technology cannot be developed without research and development (R & D), which demands heave amount of money. Pakistan has to depend on developed countries for the import of capital goods (machinery) and also has to spend to a lot of foreign exchange on getting spare parts of the machinery. It calls for the development of indigenous technology, which should be of labour intensive and not of capital intensive nature, to develop and exploit the normal resources.
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Pakistan has rich resources, and must utilize them through the development of appropriate technology. That is the way to promote economic development in the country. Till such time Pakistan cannot make the best use of the resources, it would remain a poor, an underdeveloped country. Mere existence of rich resources cannot entitle a country to be called rich. We are strongly inclined to believe that Pakistan is not a rich country but a poor one.
We wish it to be rich and for that matter, we will have to bend all our energies to promote all pervasive richness in Pakistan. We will have to start our march to achieve the objective through a well-thought out strategy and move ceaselessly forward by fighting adversities of different kinds with courage, patience, fortitude, since the nature of journey is tedious and heart-breaking.
We will have to surmount formidable obstacles that come in our way to thwart our onward march. It is a story of land unending sufferings to be borne patiently in order to reach the destined goal. What Pakistan is the emergence of committed leadership which rises to the occasion to drive the nation in uni-direction to achieve the national objectives, of course, through selfless duration and commitment.
The journey bristles with innumerable difficulties but the will and determination can overcome them in the long run. It involved numerous sacrifices, involving the shedding of human tears. The Russians and the Chinese made tremendous sacrifices after the occurrence of the revolution in their land, to put their countries on an even keel. Stability helped the nations to achieve the goal of self-reliance.
This equally applies to other developed countries, which indeed had to traverse a long journey to rise to the industrial pinnacle. So if we wish to exterminate poverty we will have to struggle hard to convert Pakistan to a rich country. The second part of the proposition rightly points out the predicament of Pakistan, namely poor management.
It is a fact that whatever meager resources are allocated to the public development sector, are not mutilated properly, as most of the resources leak out through corruption and other undesirable channels. It is a classic example of mismanagement, graft, loot, plunder and corruption. If the resources were utilized productively by plugging up the holes of corruption, the country could have made a great progress in the field of public industrial sector.
The usurpation of national resources through corrupt channels, greatly impinges upon advance. There is no doubt about the fact that corruption plagues the national body politic. Corruption is the result of badly managed state affairs at different tiers. Politician’s majority does not have spotless career. The newspapers, electronic media splash the news of corruption, mismanagement and the ruling government is not move to take any action against the corrupt element.
The NRO-trained politicians do not care about anything and continue to walk in the corridor of power. Pakistan has notoriety in corruption. Mismanagement is mostly due to lack of good governance. The latter arises when three organs of the state, namely, the executive, the judiciary, the parliament do not function according to their roles as laid down in the constitution of the country. A clash lakes place when activism is reported on the part of either of the three.
When the verdict of the judiciary is openly violate by the executive, it results in the breakdown of law. The Supreme Court in December last gave its verdict against the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) and the beneficiaries of the said Ordinance against whom cases of corruption were initiated on different grounds, are to reopen for their trail.
Many of the politically “sacred cows” enjoying the patronage of the ruling party, are being protected and the government is hesitant to implement the decision of the Supreme Court. In other words, confrontation does not auger well for the promotion of good Governance. Bad Governance comes into existence when rule of law is not respected.
Rules and regulations are set aside and things are decided on the basis of personal whims. In matters of appointments, due weight is not given to merit. It is frequently reported in the press that in certain provinces appointment were made in violation of the rules. In such instances, merit is ignored. The violation of merit means the encouragement of favoritism.
Where law is injured, merit equally bleeds. This leads to misgovern and mismanagement. Most of our ills are due to mismanagement. In the sphere of finance, there is no rigorous discipline to make the best use of the scarce resources. Owing to the profligate way of living of our rulers, resources are fretted away and that results in widening the fiscal deficit which already is touching the highest limit of GDP.
Financial mismanagement has put the country in an unenviable position. It shows signs of deterioration over time. In short, mismanagement is a malady to be addressed to on priority basis, which mostly accounts for our misfortunes. Nations that pay attention to observe the management rules and conduct their affairs according to rules and regulations, succeed in establishing their writ in the world.
Democratic system is run according to the established norms which goes a long way to establish stable institutions to lend sustenance to the regime of merit. They progress by leaps and bounds. On the other hand, poor nations like Pakistan suffer terribly at the hands of mismanagement, ill-planning and lack of good governance.
If ruling governments abide by law of the land, and fall heavily on the corrupt element and take cognizance of the causes giving rise to mismanagement in order to do away with it, the country can make much all round progress. The primary conditions however, is that rulers should subject themselves to discipline and refrain from taking any decision violating the spirit of law. If that happens, Pakistan can hope to come out of the vicious circle of mismanagement.
Our findings are that if the scarce national resources are utilized properly and judiciously, much can be achieved to pull Pakistan out of the poverty trap. Pakistan can hope to become a rich country, if it can exploit the natural resources with the aid of home-made technology, and make the maximum use of the available financial resources by plugging up the loophole of corruption, mismanagement, Misgovern, etc.
A poor country can become rich in course of time if it has the will to set its house in order through planning, good governance and management. The tragedy is that Pakistan being a poor country is further dragged to swell poverty through mismanagement and bad governance.