The famed public intellectual Noam Chomsky is the greatest political pundit of our times. He is peerless with his finger on the pulse when it comes to the game of politics and politicians. He said, “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.” This is spot on, if we look at the current political climate in Pakistan. The youth of the nation has again taken to the streets. The spectrum of public opinion is limited to Imran Khan’s ouster, which created drama at the grandest scale. PTI and the PDM are two sides of the same coin. Through mudslinging and machinations, they restricted the debate to Imran versus Shehbaz. This is so, when the outcry desperately needs to be about the burning issues facing the country instead. The burning issues are: national security; the economy; diplomatic relations with countries; social issues; and the development of human capital. These issues do not enter the public discourse. These elephants in the room and sacred cows must be poked. Let’s address them one by one. First and foremost, national security is handled by the military very competently. However, it is easily jeopardized by sellout politicians willing to kowtow to foriegn powers. Those that have openly held close ties with the enemy on the eastern border, pose an existential threat. A complete prohibition must be declared on undertaking external debt. Benazir Bhutto signed to the IMF’s Structural Adjustment Program (SAP), which was the first cardinal sin. Yusuf Raza Gillani took over immediately after the prosperous Musharraf era, and pioneered the undertaking of unprecedented loans to channel them to private accounts. Gillani established the norm and Nawaz made us live off debt. This legacy was continued by Imran despite his tall claims to the contrary in his election campaign. Imran even went to the extent of appointing an IMF man as the governor SBP. A complete prohibition must be declared on undertaking external debt. It is beyond the scope of this column to elaborate on the tremendous damage these heads of state have caused, by burying us neck deep in debt with crippling conditions. If what we need is freezing assets and collecting donations from all citizens, we must do so, instead of taking on more loans. This debt is an existential threat, although the public is unaware. Anyone who poses an existential threat to the state of Pakistan, must be persecuted by the state-the least of it being permanently barring them from holding office again. Managing the economy is the greatest task of the premier. At the moment we face food insecurity, despite being an agricultural nation. Financial corruption led to poor supply chain management, where wheat was first exported and then imported. We need to undertake austerity measures and food rationing is needed. The US did it during the great depression (1929). We need to make sure that gluttony and waste by the haves and hunger by the have-nots does not co-exist. Food is a basic necessity and the head of state must ensure that no one sleeps hungry in the land. Focusing on agriculture, will create many jobs in the public sector, nationwide, for the illiterate and less-educated. Kickstarting the urban economy is also needed. Singapore’s legendary Prime Minister, the late Lee Kuan Yew transformed his country from a colonial wreck to a prominent nation in the world in his three decade rule. Lee wisely attracted foriegn investment from Japanese, American and European Multinational corporations. Giants like Texas Instruments, Hewlett-Packard and General Electric laid the foundation of the high-tech industry and turned Singapore into a major electronics exporter. This transformed the work systems and the work culture of Singapore’s manufacturing sector, which later had a spillover effect to other industries. Singapore now earns handsomely from oil refining, despite not being an oil producing country.Sweden’s economy is pretty much dependent on Nokia. Pakistan despite low literacy levels, is technologically adept and produces world class engineers, who leave for Europe and the US. Hi-tech industry development is certainly a path we can follow with ease. Textile is an industry to do-away with, due to its rent seeking history (profiting from state subsidies and policies). In Pakistan, as per the official statistics of the board of Investment, we mainly invite investment in the Oil & Gas and Financial businesses sector, in addition to power and telecommunication. Our greatest investor nation is China. None of these sectors are conducive for Pakistani interest, as far as foriegn investment goes. Hi-tech manufacturing will create jobs for skilled labor and also lead to the development of human capital, if strategic partnerships are created between academia and industry. Most importantly, this will allow economic growth operating within the framework outlined by the IMF, which is a monumental task. Next comes the issue of diplomatic relations with countries. At the moment public hysteria has been created in Pakistan about the toppling of the Pakistani premiere by the US. This anti-US sentiment in Pakistan is toxic for our future. As they say, if you want honey, then do not kick over the beehive. The US is a world leader, and an old ally, with whom we hold technological educational, diplomatic, trade and diaspora links. We must not foolishly turn into foes. Last but not the least our social issues need the urgent attention of the premier. Weaponising faith must be subverted overtly and covertly. Religious fervor needs to be redirected to healthier outlets. Mosques must be centrally regulated. Hate filled and fireband sermons as well as calls to global jihad must be strictly prohibited. Sermons must be channeled towards superior ethics and morals for exemplary social conduct. Social justice must become the top priority of the government. The biggest step in this direction would be a reformation of the judiciary. Guiding and engaging the media is also a much needed step for positive social engineering. Instilling respect for women, and allowing them inclusion in public space must become a top priority, to become a tolerant, humane and civilized society, needed for progress. Encouraging nationalism and discouraging parochialism, racism, sectarianism and tribalism, is crucial for progress. Health and education can similarly be transformed through a wise strategy, pursued with conviction, engaging all stakeholders for maximum effect. The goals outlined above should be the priority of our ruler. Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew faced similar challenges and handled them effectively. He is a great example for us. The head of state does not need to be a genius. He can pick on the brains of the most brilliant minds in the nation. If he is charismatic, he can also attract the return of outstanding diaspora and even foriegn talent. He can harness the talent and energy of all these individuals towards fulfilling national goals. The youth that is staging mass protests in favor of the ousted Prime minister, signals a hugely positive trend, that it will not re-elect the traitors and the thieves of state. It must wisen and also not re-elect any of the tried, tested and ousted. If all of those ousted are rejected at the ballot box, a technocrat prime minister and his technocrat team can save the day. The writer is an independent researcher, author and columnist. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.