ADDRESSING the main event of the Independence Day – national flag hoisting ceremony and launching of re-recorded national anthem – Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, true to his policy of reconciliation, called for a national dialogue and a consensus on Charter of Economy by all stakeholders to transform Pakistan into an economic power.
He pointed out that if we can become a nuclear power, there is no reason we cannot become an economic power but for that to happen we will have to forge unity and strive day and night.
Going by the fact that the Prime Minister has a passion for economy and development, no one should doubt his sincerity when he makes a call for developing consensus as to which direction the country should move economically.
One can differ with the economic policies of the successive governments but the fact remains all of them, in one way or the other, made some positive contribution but their policies could not bear fruit mainly because of lack of continuity caused by political disruptions.
The country is extremely polarized and therefore, this vicious cycle of disruptions would continue until and unless all stakeholders agree on a Charter of Economy.
It is, however, unfortunate that the opposition PTI, in a knee-jerk reaction, has rejected the offer of the Prime Minister with former Information Minister and central leader of PTI Fawad Chaudhry sarcastically describing it as a ‘foolish idea’, a comment that should serve as a barometer of seriousness of our leadership to the grave challenges facing the country.
Fawad, known for chaotic politics, came out with a strange argument that political parties join heads to develop a political framework while a unanimous economic framework is only found in communist systems.
This is sheer lack of vision and understanding as the Charter of Economy means a ‘broad’ roadmap for economic development, which has nothing to do with communism.
The offer of the Prime Minister assumed special significance after readiness expressed by President Dr Arif Alvi to mediate between the Government and the Opposition but the scathing reaction is reflective of the self-centred politics.