What Ails Pakistan? Way Forward by Brig,Gen(Retd)Asif Haroon Raja

After the Partition in 1947, mishandling and mismanagement of Evacuee Properties laid the foundation of corruption in Pakistan. It created a class of upstarts who prospered during the decade of development of Ayub Khan in the 1960s.

Devaluation and nationalization by Bhutto pulverised the economy and industry. Jayala culture and promotion of secularism indisciplined the society and promoted liberalism.

Fighting someone else’s wars for thirty years militarized the society and infected it with extremism, intolerance, ethnicity, sectarianism, religious bigotry and divides, and the cultures of Kalashnikov, drugs and other social vices. The Junejo era gave birth to bank loans, Mafias and parallel economy.

The era of the 1990s saw Pakistan getting engulfed in the aftereffects of the Afghan war which nosedived our morals and values, and craze for making big money overnight intensified.

The political class, bureaucrats, the military and big tycoons got involved in power politics and political engineering to protect their selfish interests.

VIP culture and cultures of commissions, kickbacks, graft intensified. Merit was discarded and was replaced by nepotism and loyalists. Pakistan’s economic hub Karachi was mercilessly plundered by MQM and PPP.

The elite class controlling the wealth, and with all the levers of power, got detached from the commoners. They neither made any effort to integrate the nation, or to reform the state institutions. The accountability was in name only. The IPP deal was the worst which is one of the key factors of our debt burden. Agriculture being the backbone was neglected.

These factors bolstered black economy and strengthened the Mafias.

The post 9/11 era saw Pakistanis getting bloodied and traumatized in the US imposed war on terror. Enlightened moderation was promoted to show the soft face of Pakistan, but it heightened the secular-Islamic divide and promoted obscenity and immorality. The 20-year war destabilised the country, divided the nation, and impoverished the economy.

The war didn’t make any difference to the rich class which continued to live an ostentatious and pompous life, and detested simplicity. To upkeep their high lifestyle, they got more loans which were pilfered.

The 3rd political experiment made by the military establishment to improve economics and to maintain its control over power politics proved devastating for the country. Pakistan is still suffering from its consequences and is still clueless how to get out of the self-created mess.

With so many internal shortcomings and vulnerabilities, it was easy for our adversaries to keep sprinkling oil on our weak areas and keeping Pakistan perpetually politically destabilised, socially divided and economically weak and dependent.

The tool of media was used to mind clone the educated urbanites. The hirelings and the misled added to Pakistan’s troubles. They picked up arms against the State and their Army and unwittingly promoted the dangerous agenda of enemies of Pakistan.

It is because of the misconduct of the civil and military leaders and the bureaucrats that Pakistan today finds itself gripped in multiple crises which include political, economic, constitutional, judicial and moral crises. Political polarization has scaled new heights of hatred.

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