Economic gains are remarkable; sectarian & parochial interests posing threat to national fibre
Mar 26 - Apr 01, 2007
Nation celebrated the 67th Pakistan Day with a renewed pledge to play a greater role for the development and prosperity of the country in accordance with the ideas of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
The father of the nation Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had dreamed a moderate, developed, prosperous and strong Pakistan. It is our obligation to turn this dream into reality.
An impressive demonstration of the first ever aircraft produced by Pakistan in technical collaboration with China at the fly past during Pakistan Day celebrations was of course one of the major achievements.
President Musharraf while witnessing the fly past on the occasion of Pakistan Day mentioned the induction of the JF-17 fighter aircraft into the Pakistan Air Force and said he was proud of the joint production of the aircraft.
It is heartening to see that the country has gained economic mileage during last few years on the back of good economic policies and decisions of the present team of economic managers, however, this is only one side of the picture. Things are not so good or reassuring while one looks at the other side of the picture and that is of course the structure of the civil society, which is presenting a dismal view of national fibre.
Today, our political and religious leadership seems to have been de-linked with the people, their main objective is to serve the party or sectarian interest by brushing aside the interest of the people and the country as a whole. It is the time to think in terms of the nation and the country rather than confining ourselves into our vested interest either it is party interest or sectarian interest. So far, Pakistan has successfully pursued economic reforms aimed at modernizing the economy to achieve high growth rates, address the chronic issue of unemployment and poverty.
God forbid if the people with petty interests were allowed to parish human, social, political and judicial values which are the pillars of any society, we might lose the hard earned economic gains and all efforts that have been made in that direction so far would prove a futile exercise.
While we say about economic gains, it is not merely a cliché. Just look at the performance of our stock markets considered as the barometer of the economy, we find that the Karachi Stock Exchange, which had never crossed the level of 2000 points since the inception of the country, is operating between 11500-12000 points.
Stellar growth is apparently visible in other sectors of the economy. Besides the capital market, unprecedent growth has also been witnessed in the areas like banking and insurance, large manufacturing sectors especially the textile, automobile and cement sectors, besides noticeable growth in service sector.
Around 7 percent GDP growth rate has placed the country on the map of economies growing at a faster rate, which is also one of the reasons for winning the confidence of the investors in this part of the world.
President Musharraf on the occasion of Pakistan Day has pledged to strengthen the economy to such an extent to bring prosperity and development, which will end poverty and unemployment. He said, "today our economy is strong and we are moving on the path of development. Dozens of development projects are under execution in communication and agriculture sectors while there is no precedence of implementation of schemes in electricity, gas and drinking water as is being done now.
He was confident that a white revolution is emerging in the form of dairy development. While in the social sector unprecedented financial allocations are being made in the health and education fields for the benefit of the people.
The President, turning to the present legal and constitutional issue, said it would be resolved legally and constitutionally. He appealed the legal fraternity not to make it a political or law and order issue. General Pervez Musharraf said terrorism and extremism is a big internal challenge and asked every Pakistani to stand up and help the government to deal with it effectively.
One of the most significant developments on the economic front of the country is the fast rate economic growth in the province of Balochistan. So far, due to negligence by the governments in the past and the rigidity of the tribal leadership to keep the most of the areas of that energy and mineral rich province under force maejuere deprived people of their just rights of social and economic gains. With the undaunted efforts of the present leadership, Balochistan has come into international limelight. Mega projects like Gwadar deep seaport, construction of Mirani Dam, and revival of Saindak project, emerging of coastal highways linking the neglected people of Balochistan are bound to uplift the strategic importance of Pakistan. The economic development of Balochistan is reflected in the fact that today that province's electricity consumption demand is growing at the rate of 17 percent per annum as compared to 8 percent in Karachi. That speaks in volumes about the pace of development in Balochistan. Due to development of coastal highways trade interaction with neighboring Iran and Central Asia has started showing positive sign.
To ensure fast development in Gwadar, the government has rightly allowed Chinese, Korean and Singapore investors to set up their tax free special industrial development zones in Gwadar. These are the developments, which are liable to change the fate of the poverty-ridden people of Balochistan as well as capable to invigorate economy of Pakistan on sound footings.
Today, people of this country are confronted with political, sectarian and provincial disharmony. It is of course a challenge for all those who consider themselves as the opinion leaders in the political and social and religious arena. Now is the time for all the stakeholders to think above their party or vested interest for the sake of the country and the nation. These economic achievements are remarkable but these economic gains would not be appreciable unless the government of the day and the pressure groups of society ensure equitable distribution of these gains among the less fortunate people of society. It is the high time to make believe the people of Balochistan that they would have their share in the developments taking place in their province in the form of better education and employment opportunities and training to their children and youngsters to make them useful citizens of this country.