DURING a meeting with a delegation of traders, veteran business leader and President SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry Iftikhar Ali Malik gave sound advice for flourishing of the economic activities, which need to be taken seriously by the Government, the opposition as well as the business community.
He emphasized that Pakistan needs uninterrupted, stable democracy, which is a prerequisite for sustained economic growth to cope with multiple challenges especially when the country was passing through a critical juncture due to Covid-19 situation.
He also warned that influential countries are successfully using their weapons of economic destruction to weaken economies of poor nations to achieve their unholy designs while Pakistan’s economy is not strong enough to withstand economic terrorism.
There can hardly be two opinions that the economic progress is deeply linked to the political stability and stability assumes greater relevance at a time when the country was limping back to normalcy due to wiser approach of the Government in handling the challenge thrown by Coronavirus.
The Government has also taken a number of initiatives to create the right kind of environment for the economy to grow and continuation of the policy is the need of the hour.
Though the present Government survived several political crises and presently there seems to be no imminent challenge but unpredictability is the hallmark of our political culture and no one knows when the situation could take an ugly turn.
Luckily, the Government seems to have a second thought as far its attitude towards the political opposition is concerned and this is evident from the fact that repeated offers of dialogue are being made to the other side to create consensus on, otherwise, controversial electoral reforms while Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin is talking about signing of a charter of economy.
The seriousness of the Government is also evident from its decision to initiate the process of dialogue with disgruntled elements in Balochistan.
All these moves must be taken to fruition as they would help remove some of the major irritants in the way of fostering national unity and solidarity.
While the opposition should patiently wait for completion of the mandated five-year term of the Government, the rulers should also review their treatment of the opposition, which feels to have been pushed to the wall.
The SAARC Chamber President also put forth several important suggestions for increasing our exports meaningfully including the need to reduce cost of doing business so that our products become competitive in the international market, a goal that remains a far off cry despite oft-repeated claims by the Government.