Miftah Ismail suddenly become ‘financial guru’ critical of Dar and N League government policies

Miftah Ismail suddenly become 'financial guru' critical of Dar and N League government policies

By Raza Ruman

  One wonders when this man — Miftah Ismail — was a federal minister of the PMLN government he would take decisions tantamount to sink the economy.

    And now once booted out by Ishaq Dar he suddenly becomes a “Danishwar”.

    He has started writing columns in Dawn critical of Dar and PMLN government policies.

    One wonders why Dawn offering him it’s platform to such a financial guru.

    In his latest columns he describes bad economic policies of Pakistan.

   He writes …

INDIA, a large, imperfect democracy with its many ethnolinguistic and religious groups, separatist forces, occupied territories, etc, is certainly not easier to govern than Pakistan. Up until the 1980s, Pakistan was ahead of India in most economic indicators. Then, in the early 1990s, India dismantled its licence raj and shot past Pakistan.

Today, its annual foreign direct investment is 40 times more than that of Pakistan. Its central bank reserves are over $580 billion; ours are $8bn. It is now well ahead of Pakistan in most human development indicators.

Bangladesh, with a land mass the size of Sindh, half of which is underwater, is a resource-poor nation under a corrupt, authoritarian government. At the time of its separation, East Pakistan’s income per head was half that of West Pakistan. Today, it is ahead of Pakistan in income, exports, education, population control, life expectancy — in fact in almost all economic and social indicators.

Pakistan’s per capita income is below every country in South Asia except Nepal, and below even the average of the countries in sub-Saharan Africa. In human development indicators such as education, infant mortality, etc, we do even worse.

We often have a debate in Pakistan about whether we should have presidential or parliamentary democracy, or even a military dictatorship. Other countries have progressed under all three. We have done badly under all. The problem isn’t the type of government we have.

The problem is that governance in Pakistan is just ineffective: in 75 years, our governments haven’t been able to deliver economic growth, security of life or property, education or health, or even clean drinking water. The hard truth is that our governments haven’t been able to solve any major problems facing Pakistan.

Airlines avoid coming to Pakistan because they don’t want their crews staying here overnight, particularly in Karachi. Foreign buyers don’t like visiting Pakistan, and foreign firms neither invest here in factories nor open buying houses.

This obviously hurts our exports. We get no tourists coming here either. How can a country prosper where no foreigner feels safe? We have experienced extremism, terrorism and crime since the 1990s, and are ‘used to’ living with danger and an ineffective police and security apparatus.

Since Pakistan loses thousands of billions due to lack of security, the resolution should have been of utmost importance. But it requires competence and single-minded determination, and these have been lacking in our governments.

What do Pakistanis think of our governments? In a PIDE survey, 40pc Pakistanis want to leave Pakistan. Look at how Pakistan is faring on various human development indices, and you cannot but conclude that Pakistan is one of the worst-governed countries in the world. It’s time we wake up to this reality. PAK DESTINY

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