Self-reliance And Pakistan – Essay
The ability of self-reliance for a state is as important as the existence of a core idea behind its creation. Just as a state cannot be created without having a fundamental idea, in the same way it cannot sustained its existence for a long time without achieving self-reliance. Therefore the state’s high potential of self-sustainability is crucial for its existence. Pakistan, unfortunately, after passing of more than seven decades could not become self-dependence. There are many hindrances that the country is facing in self-reliance.
In economics terminology, self-reliance of a state may mean transitions from a developing stage to a developed one. It is that position of a state in which she relies more on its own resources for the smooth functioning of its machinery than on foreign aids.
The concept of self-reliance is not new. It has always been used as an inspiring slogan by leaders in the political arena but in practical terms it has hardly been achieved. Pakistan like all other countries is also facing some hindrances in its progress towards self-reliance. Some of these hurdles have been mentioned out in below paragraphs.
The economy of Pakistan has become so dependent on the assistance of other states that now it has become almost impossible for the country to run on its own without taking any foreign economic help. Immediately after independence, the country had no sufficient economic resources to cope with various major challenges such as the settlement of immigrants, the building of government necessary infrastructure and the employment of bureaucracy. The situation further aggravated when Indian government held a huge sum of money from Pakistani shares and refused to pay. These circumstances forced the then political leaders to ask for help from friend states. Though their policy of taking help in the form of economic assistance from other states was for short term but since then no political leaders ever pay a heed to change this practice. And now this dependency has reached to such an extent that our leaders cannot think about running the government without taking foreign ad.
In the past seventy years we have become so accustomed to the process of dependence on foreign aids that now it has become an integral part of our life as a nation. The claim of each successive government that the national treasure is empty and we need economic assistance from our friend states now seems no problem to us at all. This dependence on foreign assistance has suppressed our real spirit of self-reliance as a nation.
Rapid increase rate of population, an ever increasing proportion of inflation, high unemployment rate and low level of national savings are some of the major problems that have resulted in the rapid economic decline of the country over the past few decades. Similarly low rate of investment both by the domestic and foreign investors due to terrorism and the destruction of infrastructure by the terrorists are some of the additional factors that deteriorated the economy of the state.
Then there is lack of capital, industry, technology and mineral resources that sometimes too forced government to go for seeking help from friendly states. Whereas other neighboring states such as India did an incredible development in the sector of industry and technology, Pakistan still lags far behind in this pace. Similarly the inability of the state due to the lack of requisite technology to extract and utilize the underground, untouched mineral resources is adding further problems to the situation.
The continuous intrusion of the west, particularly America, in the social, political and economic spheres of Pakistan has always been proved hazardous for the development process of the country. The said country has always used the land of Pakistan for doing her dirty works in the region and whenever her interests have secured, she has lashed Pakistan’s economy with different kinds of sanctions. Similarly elite class in the society is also exploiting the poor masses in the same way.
Serious steps for curbing the practice of corruption have never been taken by any of the political government of Pakistan and perhaps the major reason behind this is the involvement of the political leaders itself in it. One of the major reasons of why Pakistan could not achieved self-reliance during the past seventy years is the high rate of corruption by the political leaders of the country. And it is mainly due to this reason that despite of accumulating billions of dollars during the war-on-terror, the economy of the country is still in shabby condition. Similarly the illegal smuggling of different kinds of goods across the border has also severe effects for the economy of the country.
After corruption, the next biggest hurdle for Pakistan’s self-reliance is the poor taxation system of the country. Collecting money by taxing the locals is one of the major sources for reinvigorating the national treasure of a state. In Pakistan the rate of taxation is not only low but also the elite class most of the time avert it from themselves successfully. Thus the targeted level of money is not collected, which ultimately gives rise to many economic challenges for the government.
In Pakistan, majority of the labor force is unskilled with less or no technical knowledge at all. Main reason for this is, overall the minimum allocation of budget for education by the government and inadequate number of technical institutions in the country for imparting technical education to the public.
The administrative system of Pakistan worked on an outdated pattern. In the public offices of the country, it took months or even years to get a project plan approved. Similarly the system of check and balance especially in the use of authority by the people holding authoritative offices is also no workable. Not only this, the economic system of the country also faces some challenges of the same nature. Our consumption is more than our earnings and our imports are more than our exports. Similarly the rate of savings is also very low.
In Pakistan the hold of political system is in the hand of landlords and elite class. These people usually have more interest in making money, using authority for self-interest and enjoyment of the position of power than in nation building activities and economic development. The blind trust of public in their leaders and their support for them even after the involvement of these leaders in money laundering and corruption activities makes the situation worsen.
The practice of taking loan from other states and some international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank has become an integral part of our political system. Each time when a new government came into power in the country, she blames the previous government for excessive corruption and leaving the national treasure empty. It has been remained a common practice by the new governments’ in the past few decades to knock immediately at the door of IMF and World Bank for taking loan and now the situation has reached to such a disastrous level that our government takes more loans for paying the interest of previous loans.
God has gifted Pakistan with every natural resource such as good climate with regional variations and suitable conditions for cultivating all kinds of crops but still Pakistan despite of being an agricultural country faces shortage of grain most of the time. Most of our farmers are illiterate plus they hardly have access to the fundamental machinery required for the proper cultivation of crops and exceeding agricultural production quantity.
Some additional hurdles are budget deficit, low level of national savings, high illiteracy rate, poverty, slow industrial growth, largest dependency ratio in population, religious extremism, ethnicity problems, insecurity, poor check and balance system and terrorism.
All the above stated hurdles can be addressed successfully only by adopting an effective national policy. And in all this process political will of the leaders is a must. Government should overcome the problem of budget deficit by cutting its expenses, expand tax base and provide a feasible environment for industrial and agricultural growth.
It would not be too wrong to say that at present Pakistan is economically at a cross road. All the above mentioned hurdles reveal the level of severity of this problem, which can be addressed successfully only if there is a will to do. For attaining self-reliance the country needs the will of general public, an effective economic and political system and above all the spirit of national integration among the masses.