KARACHI: There are two 'Pakistans'; one for the elites who enjoy certain perks and privileges, and the other is for the common people who are deprived of everything and live on handouts, observed renowned economist Dr Kaisar Bengali.
Dr Bengali was participating in a discussion titled "Economy of Tomorrow: Towards Pakistan a Good Society", held as part of the Karachi Literature Festival in the city on the third and final day of the event.
Kaisar stressed the need for a Public-Private Partnership policy which he asserted can bring stability to and development in the national economy. "Development and prosperity is linked with the consideration of the needs and desires of people rather than using them as commodity for the benefit of the country", he added.
Bengali said the poor pay 16 percent tax from their income, while the rich pay only 10 percent and this shows the clear inequality and injustice present in the society.
Recalling the sad story of a poor family, Kaisar said that the conviction of millions of people in the name of development is a pitiful thing. "A house is just a unit for developers but it is the whole world for the poor", he said.
Journalist Rolf Paasch said that the economy is the building-block of any society; without an economy, prosperity is impossible. "We should facilitate more discourse on the economy", he emphasized.
Waqar Ahmed, one of the speakers, said that the government must bring judicial reforms for commercial cases. "We need to go to the very basics to bring some good changes in our economic system", he said.
To a question, he responded saying that our system is based on colonial structures that only support the elite class and promote the feudal system.
The event featured many productive sessions including dialogues, discussions, readings, screenings, awards, book launches, musical concerts and performances, and much more.
Participation of international renowned figures, speakers, authors, intellectuals, writers, bibliophiles, artists and other great personalities were the highlight of the event. The organizers estimate that around 200,000 people attended the KLF this year including participants from Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Bangladesh, the UK, the US, India, and the Maldives. The 8th Karachi Literature Festival concluded with a classical and landmark performance by Shayma Saiyid and Suhaee Abro and a concert performance by Saif Samejo and Dhamaal by Sufi group.