Breaking the begging bowl

The incumbent government cannot control the crises in the country, while we cannot accept a government that has extended a begging hand,” is what PML-N chief Mian Nawaz Sharif had to say the other day. It seems as if Mian sahib has forgotten that Pakistan has always extended a begging bowl because of our dependent economy. Mr Sharif said that his party would not support the government’s agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) since the opposition was not taken into confidence on the issue. The PML-N has hardly supported the PPP-led coalition government in any case, apart mercifully from not being part of any unconstitutional moves.
As for the IMF programme, the government had no choice but to go to the IMF for a loan. The economic crunch Pakistan is in today is thanks to the policies of the Musharraf regime. Shaukat Aziz’s economic policies were a failure because they created an illusionary economic bubble that burst in the face of the incoming government. This government not only inherited a bad economy from its predecessors, the global recession also hit the world around that time. Granted that going to the IMF is not a happy choice and wisdom does not reside in its prescriptions for recovery, but at crunch time, the IMF is the cheapest possible option for loans. Pakistan’s economy was on the verge of a collapse and any other government would have done the same thing as the incumbents. Mian Nawaz Sharif should not be playing politics at a time like this, as there is a serious economic crisis. It is a well-documented phenomenon that in order to sustain our economy, we have always used the ‘begging bowl’. Mr Sharif is right in pointing out that most of the economic policies are anti-poor, but to change all this we have to revolutionise the economy.r Sharif’s idea of a peaceful Green Revolution is good but he should bear in mind that it cannot be the same as that of Ayub Khan’s. Ayub’s Green Revolution was more on the technical side of the agricultural sector while a new one can only be based on land reforms. Without land reforms, we cannot increase agricultural productivity.

Mr Sharif’s party should work on this idea and not let the feudals take the common man for a ride once again. As for blaming the sugar crisis on the government, Mr Sharif is overlooking the sugar mafia comprising politicians from all political parties. Yesterday, a petition was filed in the Lahore High Court to nationalise all sugar mills in order to resolve the sugar crisis. The government should seriously consider this idea, as there is no other way to break the monopoly of the sugar cartel.Mr Sharif talked about eradicating oppression, tyranny and violence from the country. Balochistan is currently seeing the worst oppression in our history. All political parties must come out and oppose the military operation in Balochistan. If it continues, we could have another East Pakistan-like situation on our hands. Violence is rampant in all parts of the country, especially Karachi. Unless there is a political solution to these issues, things would remain as bleak as ever. Our politicians must realise that they must improve their performance when they come to power. It is because of their non-performance that the electorate never stands up in their defence when a military coup takes place. It is time that all politicians, including Mr Sharif, look at their parties’ performance instead of expediently indulging in a convenient blame game – Dailytimes