Political stability

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PRIME Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday promised to bring durable economic stability in his tenure on the back of increase in agriculture productivity and exports but said that political stability was a prerequisite for this to happen.

While inaugurating the Turnaround Pakistan conference, attended by people from all walks of life to suggest out-of-the-box economic solutions, the Premier regretted that after 75 years of independence, the country’s ledger had more liabilities than assets.

Pakistan faced one of the worst economic and financial crises in recent months mainly sparked by political expediency as rulers made the decisions keeping in view their party interests and not interests of the country.

It is, indeed, a matter of shame that even after 75 years of independence, Pakistan is so heavily dependent on external aid and loans that it cannot manage its day-to-day affairs without steady inflows.

There is no denying the fact that only self-reliance guarantees political and economic independence but so far our efforts aimed at self-reliance have not borne fruits.

The Prime Minister has rightly emphasized the need for self-reliance instead of relying on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) while citing Bangladesh as an example that completed a $6 billion infrastructure project without any loan from the Washington-based lender or the World Bank.

However, it is unfortunate that despite tall claims made by successive rulers that the IMF Chapter is over and that the country would not need to seek the Fund’s assistance again, we have become so dependent on the Fund that the country cannot even manage repayment of loans without getting more loans.

Of course, some governments in the past devised and pursued prudent policies that considerably improved the financial and economic health of the country but these policies could not be taken to the logical end because of either leg-pulling or regime change and the successors discarded those policies merely due to political bias and lack of foresight.

Political stability would remain a far off cry if there is no genuine respect for the Constitution and the tendency of institutions interfering in the domain of others continues unabated for vested interests.

Therefore, elections should be held in a fair and transparent manner in the true sense of the word, the outcome accepted with open heart by all parties and those having the mandate of the people should be allowed to implement their agenda.

There should also be a Charter of Economy as has been demanded off and on by almost all parties so that the country moves ahead on the road to progress and prosperity irrespective of who is in power.

 

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