For or Against?

Author: Muhammad Omar Iftikhar

The political, social, and economic status of Pakistan has always remained in flux. Seldom have we witnessed all three areas flourishing at the same time. If the political state has been in a turbulent condition – moving between democracy and dictatorship – the socio-economic fabric, too, has remained unsteady to say the least. Good governance is among the many reasons behind Pakistan’s political debacle. When corruption reigns supreme then all involved try to fill their pockets. The right person has never been chosen for the right job. When wrong people are chosen for the jobs they are not related to then the results reflect limitations that keep increasing. This impacts all sectors of the country.

Pakistan’s case is no different. For the past 75 years, the country has been treading the delicate curb that seems to have no end. Financial mismanagement, uneven distribution of resources, and lack of planning are just a few limitations we are facing. It seems the system has accepted the presence of such predicaments that only put a burden on the citizens.

The socio-economic fabric of Pakistan is also in a dire situation indeed. Education reforms are not present or are not implemented, healthcare restructurings are still being planned, and infrastructural developments are on the blueprint. The metropolitan cities of the country may have civic amenities, yet they need a major upgrade, the facilities in the rural areas are non-existent. Those residing in the rural, remote and inner parts of the provinces have to travel to the nearest metropolitan city for education, healthcare, and other essential activities. It seems the rural areas do not come under Pakistan.

History is evident that a lack of governance, accountability, and transparency has caused much damage to Pakistan’s public and private sectors.

The future of Pakistan’s growth is directly linked to the progress of all provinces. When one talks about inclusivity, it should first be implemented in the country’s model of governance. One wonders how will Pakistan survive with a literary rate of 62.3 per cent. According to the Pakistan Economic Survey 2020-21, “The overall enrolment of students in higher education institutions (universities) increased to 1.91 million in 2019-20 from 1.86 million in 2018-19”. In 2020, the population of Pakistan was 220 million. This means that in 2020, nearly 0.87 per cent of the total population was enrolled in universities. This presents a dismal picture that speaks volumes of the drastic measures that need to be implemented in the sector of education alone.

If radical changes are needed in education, far-reaching transformations must be done in all sectors: growth and investment, agriculture, manufacturing, transport and communications, energy, etc. History is evident that a lack of governance, accountability, and transparency has caused much damage to Pakistan’s public and private sectors. If there are reforms, they are not implemented. If there are proficient human resources, they are replaced by those who do not qualify on merit. Pakistan will continue to remain behind the world until the leaders, the decision-makers, the policymakers, and the administrators are not honest and loyal. We must question ourselves if those sitting at the helms of affairs are working for or against Pakistan.

The writer is an independent researcher, author and columnist.

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