Is a person the only problem of Pakistan? | By Dr Muhammad Asif


Is a person the only problem of Pakistan?

IT is difficult to say whether Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi is the only problem of Pakistan. However, he has been charged with many cases by the government and is often regarded by the government as the most acrimonious man in Pakistan. The whole media, electronic and print, is spotlighting a single person’s every move and broadcasting breaking news from both sides on a single man. It seems that Pakistan has no other problems or issues to address. Law enforcement officers are busy providing protection to a person while spending a lot of government resources on his day-to-day presence before lower or higher courts. Are those impoverished folks who are living hand to mouth and have no future plans for themselves or their children are concerned about a single man? In this period of hyperinflation, many individuals in Pakistan are unable to earn bread and butter for their families.

Pakistan is confronting several issues, including poor growth, rising inflation, unemployment, declining investment, huge fiscal deficits and a deteriorating external balance situation. Other difficulties include rising debt, falling exports, poor savings, decreased investment, low tax collection, corruption and unrestrained profit-mafia conduct. Poverty, unemployment, crime, women’s poor status, child marriage, rape and gender inequality are other issues. In Pakistan, political instability and polarisation are also big challenges.

Pakistan’s economy is currently under severe stress with low foreign reserves, a depreciating currency and high inflation. The country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) based on Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) is the 23rd-largest worldwide, but its nominal GDP and GDP per capita are much lower. Pakistan has limited industrial production and relies heavily on external borrowing and aid. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) has been averaging around 25% while reaching 27.26% in August 2022, the highest level in 49 years. This CPI is out of control and increasing day by day with every passing month. Pakistan’s economy is expected to grow by only two per cent or less in the current fiscal year ending June 2023. The Government is not focusing on economy, as it is not a big issue for them.

Actually, Pakistan’s economy operates with state-owned and privately-owned enterprises. The country relies heavily on external borrowing and aid. Pakistan’s main exports are textiles (garments and cotton), leather goods, sports goods, chemicals, carpets and rugs. The country also has a significant agricultural sector that contributes to its economy. The agriculture industry in Pakistan is facing a number of issues, including low productivity, obsolete farming practises, insufficient infrastructure, a lack of investment and climate change. Pakistan is uncompetitive in the international market due to high production costs, poor average yield and low quality output. The majority of farmers is impoverished and lack technical competence, resulting in low output. Significant difficulties include soil erosion and water waste.

Climate change is having visible effects worldwide. The Earth’s temperature is increasing, rainfall patterns are shifting and sea levels are rising. Heatwaves, floods, droughts and fires may become more common as a result of these changes. Climate change poses rising hazards and difficulties to Pakistan’s agriculture industry, including changes in temperature and precipitation patterns, extreme weather events and increased pests and diseases. Crop yields, water availability and animal productivity are all being impacted by these changes. To address these issues, Pakistan must prioritise agricultural research and development, modernisation of farming practises and infrastructural development.

Law and order is a major concern in Pakistan, affecting foreign direct investment, investor trust and economic progress. The administration has taken attempts to enhance the country’s law and order, but more has to be done. The current state of law and order in Pakistan is worsening in major cities across the country. The Interior Ministry has authorised army deployment in Islamabad, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to solve the current law and order crisis. In Pakistan, the Institute of Peace has performed research and analysis and supported discussion. The Institute strives to improve social cohesiveness and reverse Pakistan’s rising intolerance of diversity.

Over the years, developed countries have learnt numerous lessons. One of the most essential lessons is that economic development and environmental conservation can coexist. Developed countries have established rules and legislation to assist them lessen their environmental effect while increasing their economies. They’ve also discovered that investing in renewable energy sources may help them minimise their reliance on fossil fuels and their carbon impact. Developing countries, such as Pakistan, should learn from these examples and apply comparable laws and regulations to help their economies expand while conserving the environment.

There are some possible suggestions for promoting peace and economic growth in Pakistan: (1). Improving law and order and reducing terrorism which have a negative impact on foreign direct investment (FDI), domestic investment and economic growth. (2). Increasing domestic investment to complement FDI and attract more foreign investors. (3). Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) especially SDGs No 8 of the United Nations, which aims to promote decent work and sustainable economic growth. (4). Reforming the regulatory environment and enhancing the economic competitiveness of Pakistan in the global market.

—The writer is Editor-in-Chief, Inverge Journal of Social Sciences (IJSS), Islamabad.

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