Leaderless, rudderless | Pakistan Today

Leaderless, rudderless

Since inception, our country has been unfortunate that our leaders remained self-centered and short-sighted. We adopted the wrong policies and did not take the right steps to lay the foundation of a strong economy. Soon after the partition, Pakistan decided to join the America camp, isolating itself from the USSR led the communist block. The aid from the US did bring some financial benefits but it brought a plethora of problems too. The development on the back of American aid was isolated to urban centers mostly in West Pakistan. This led to a sense of deprivation among the under-developed regions, especially the East Pakistan.

Another problem we have suffered the most from is the lack of continuity in policies of national interest. Every party or the person, democratic or a dictator, tried to come up with his / her own holy grail for strengthening the economy and getting the country out of misery. The result was that there was no continuity of policies that would ensure continued progress. On the other hand, our neighbor India became a member of the non-aligned movement, inter-alia establishing good relations with the USSR. India drew maximum financial and military benefits from all sides. In addition, there was a continuity of policies pertaining to the national interest in successive governments. India banned imports and took steps to develop its own industrial base. Today, it manufactures everything from cars to satellite components to sophisticated electronics. India has a strong industrial and economic base and is rising as a power on the global scene. Pakistan on the other hand is still struggling, continuing with the policy of pact-work and short-sighted initiatives. Seventy-three years have gone by and we still are mostly dependent on foreign aid. Our industrial base is weak, and the economy is heavily dependent on imports. Whatever development we had is primarily centered around a few urban centers creating a huge divide between the rural and urban population. We fail to take advantage of the resources Allah has blessed our country with. How painful it is that we have all the resources, but we still struggle as a third world country, and our leaders still not seeing the right way to steer the country out of the mess, we are in.

Raja Shafaatullah