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Economic development should be the top priority of Pakistan. Pakistan and India won their independence at the same time 60 years ago. Both countries started off as poor and technologically backward nations.

Today, India can boast to have achieved the status of a great power on the regional and international stage. India not only has a well-established democratic political system, it is also seen to be making significant strides on the technological front.

While India gets exceedingly high marks for its achievements in the political and economic development, Pakistan has failed miserably to make any progress on both counts.

Even after 6 decades of its independence, Pakistan remains bogged down in the same old debate about what kind of political system it should or shouldnt have. The utter inability on the part of the Pakistani leaders to agree upon a political system has caused the nation to remain mired in economic and political instability.

Having been engaged for the last 60 years in what could be best described as an exercise in futility, it is about time Pakistanis realized that it is not the political but economic reforms that ought to be their top national priority.

Had the successive governments continued with the economic reforms initiated by the late President Ayub khan, Pakistan could have been, by now, an economic powerhouse in the region. Based on its continued economic development, the people of Pakistan could have enjoyed the consequent prosperity in almost every aspect of their lives.

Higher literacy rate, in turn, would have enabled the nation to judiciously decide and agree upon the form of government that best suited and served their common interests. Unfortunately, it didnt happen that way.

In case of Pakistan, the economy and politics are analogous to a horse and a cart respectively. Sadly the corrupt political leaders have been trying, since independence, to put the cart before the horse. Is it any wonder that Pakistan has not moved an inch from where it was in 1947?

Following the footsteps of Ayub Khan, President Pervez Musharraf was trying to place more emphasis on the economy. As a result, the country witnessed an upsurge in the economic activity in the recent years. He was doing fine until the recent turmoil erupted because of the misguided chief justice who would try to stick his nose where it didnt belong.

As a result of the crisis created by him, the country is back to square one. The current crisis has provided an opportunity to the once discredited political leaders like Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif to come out of the woodwork and stunt the economic progress by wreaking havoc on the political scene.

Pakistani people should not be concerned about who rules the country. Their main concern should be how the country is being ruled. It is mind boggling to see that having tried, tested and discovered, not once but twice, that Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif failed to provide good governments and that their governments were riddled with abject corruption and illicit practices, the people of Pakistan are embracing them again?

It is equally disappointing to see that the lack of clear vision and understanding on the part of Pakistanis has rendered them unable to decipher the true motives of the politicians who have betrayed them many a time in the past.

Based on their past performance, it should be clear to all that their motives are far from being altruistic. They need power for their own personal gain and not for the people of Pakistan.

Presently, Pakistan is faced with the worst crisis in its history since the secession of Bangladesh in 1971. The threat to its integrity is at all time high, both from within and without.

The militants would do everything in their power to repeat on the streets of Lahore and Islamabad what they have done on the streets of Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq, i.e. kill innocent civilians by using suicide bombers.

The current movement for the restoration of democracy based on the mass protests and street demonstrations will provide the militants a golden opportunity to inflict death, destruction and chaos, the likes of which Pakistan has never seen before.

The question is, why cause more turmoil when the nation is already faced with the increasing threat of violence from the Islamic militants? Obviously, the purpose is to remove Musharraf from power.

With the current unrest rising by the day, it seems that Musharrafs days are numbered. But so what if he is gone? Pakistan will still remain stuck in the mud with the leaders like Bhutto or Sharif at the helm? Pakistan does not need any of them.

A nation like Pakistan needs a benevolent dictator with strong backbone and the nerves of steel to launch an economic revolution in the country, undeterred by the pressures from the friends and foes alike.

That is the only way Pakistanis can ensure themselves economic and political stability they have longed to achieve since their birth as a nation. economy
03 Jan 2008 | 476 Riaz Haq says: Location: California, USA  Posts: 10
I strongly agree with the aspirations and the ideals of the lawyers and media demanding a democratic government based on rule of law in Pakistan. However, the size of the educated middle class, while growing, is still too small to realize such aspirations in the immediate future. The most likely outcome of a free and fair election in Pakistan would be a feudal-dominated government that would not share the ideals of the civil society. If, however, the expansion of the middle class with the 6-8% annual economic growth in the last 8 years continues for at least another decade, we have a chance of developing a strong middle class capable of achieving these ideals. To read more about my thinking, please read //
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