Nov 5 - 11, 2012

Self Reliance can simply be understood as, "Transition from a developing stage to a developed one." It also means to become independent in every walk of life for every need of life.

The concept of self-reliance is not novel at all. It has been used as a shining tool for official declarations, political statements and inspiring slogans to fool the public

Self Reliance should be a slogan in the true sense of the word and not political slogan. Self reliance is the need of the hour and a challenge and a gain. It gives us great freedom in every aspect of life. The father of the nation wanted to see Pakistan an independent and self-reliant country. We have no choice except to rely on our own potentialities to defend our sovereignty.

We in Pakistan should cultivate a habit of self reliance. The lesson on self-reliance quoted in Holy Quran and Hadith is particularly needed to be studied and practiced. We are by nature downhearted in our attitude. Our inclination is to depend too much on destiny or change, or some other person to help us. We should have faith in Allah who has gifted us all the qualities of head and heart.

Self Reliance is vital for Pakistan to economically prosper and progress. In order to achieve the overall goal of progress and prosperity of the country it is necessary to achieve self-reliance and avoid begging of aid with other countries which is at the cost of national dignity and honour.

Pakistan opted for an aid-dependent growth strategy in the early Sixties. With a view to hastening the growth of industrial and agricultural output Pakistan preferred for an aid-relying growth strategy in the early Sixties.

It was contended that with the assistance of foreign aid Pakistan could achieve a growth rate of 7.5 percent and through higher rates of savings and higher growth of exports Pakistan would accomplish self-reliance in a period of 20 years.

Even after 65 years of our independence, we have become habituated to foreign aid. Now the foreign aid has become the part and parcel of our whole system. There are many hitches for self-reliance. These are: frightening growth rate of population, very low literacy rate, high unemployment, degenerating economic surroundings, inferior physical infrastructure, increased energy crisis, heavy import bills, discrepant policies, sharp shortage of public and private sector resources for research and development, absence of technical institutions and experts, wastage of mineral and atomic resources and lack of industrial development.

Smuggling, black-marketing, price-hike, drug abuse and especially corruption in every department have blemishes the social framework of our nation country. Terrorism and drone attacks have also deformed the image of our dear country a great deal.

Pakistan has suffered most of the time at the hands of the USA right from 1965 war with India. USA trained almost entire Pakistan Army and Air Force. Pakistan had great confidence in USA and it felt that it would save it lots of economic burden by opting for the American 'Aid' but in fact it put a heavy load on Pakistan with economic costs and humiliation.

Pakistan's past events depicts that foreign aid leads to a decrease in the savings rate. The cut down in the saving rate may be ascribed to the failure of government to activate resources which in turn lead to higher disposable incomes and consequently higher private consumption.

So far, development in Pakistan has been heavily reliant on aid from and trade with the US and other Western countries.

Pakistan and the US were in a stand-off in the wake of the attack on the Salala check and the suspension of NATO supply routes. Pakistan was under financial pressure, such as withheld military payments or the threatened blockade of bilateral and IMF aid.

The stress on self-reliance, particularly after the suspension of aid to Pakistan by the USA, has pictured particularly in the last few years.

A self-reliant growth strategy must be prepared aiming at wiping out at the dependence on aid immediately and in future also. The strategy to attain self-reliance requires determining investment, savings, import and export objectives. Also it must devise a strategy which makes the conversion from aid-dependent growth to self-reliant growth with minimum strain.

The government in this context must mobilize all its available domestic resources and to promote exports.

There is the need for mobilization of resources to extend the tax net by withdrawing tax exemptions from various types of incomes and different types of goods and users which have been allowed on one pretext or another.

Export-on the other hand, may lead to higher points of imports but the gain in exports would more than compensate for an increase in imports and thus heighten the rate of movement towards self-reliance.

Government should stress the importance of granting Pakistani products, particularly textiles, greater access to the US market.

Private sector must play a vital role in the economic development of Pakistan. Self Reliance cannot be accomplished without the active engagement of the private sector. The private sector must be called for to tap its commercial potential like it is being done in Europe, Japan and USA.

The Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) has reorganized its "Strategy 2015" with a view to attain self-reliance and heighten capacities in the areas of disaster management, healthcare, youth and volunteerism, organisational development, image building and financial self-reliance.

Take the example of China self-reliant policy which has been showing higher graph of economic prosperity since its birth. To reduce, if not eliminate, its financial dependence on the West, Pakistan can begin to designate some of its trade in Chinese Yuan and invite Chinese banks to undertake a proportion of its international transactions. It can enter into larger currency-swap arrangements with China and invite Beijing to place a small part of its foreign exchange reserves in the State Bank of Pakistan.

For attaining self-reliance, we must educate our masses so that we may eradicate the ill-effects of the policy of dependency. Corruption should be wiped off with an iron hand.

We must stop foreign aids and eliminate the foreign debts at the top priority. Agriculture and industry must be developed on advanced lines and exports must be encouraged to a great extent. Political stability a guarantee the long-term 15 years development plans.

The public representatives must cut short their high level spending. We must install atomic plants to cope with energy crisis and to boost up our industry.

Unchecked terrorism must be controlled with an iron hand and aggressive drone attacks by USA must be stopped forthwith.

For self-reliance, we need devoted and administrative setup. We need to develop loyalty of patriotism. This is how we can enjoy the fruit of self-reliance.