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A matter of life and debt!

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    A matter of life and debt!

    Life with debt is like life in a graveyard. How it could be for you especially if you are a sinner of your conscience? As our political structure turned out to be a total failure, our management of financial affairs could also be described by the same definition. We wrested independence from the British Raj but got ourselves caught by another evil - far the worst than the former. Today, we stand blindfold with our hands shackled by the financial colonialism of IMF and World Bank.

    While spending Rs300 billion on debt servicing out of the budget of Rs700 billion, how could we expect the life of an ordinary person to improve especially keeping in the mind the amount we have to spend on our defence. It is actually almost impossible to progress until and unless we get rid of IMF and World Bank. Though it also seems almost impossible itself, but this is the only way how we could survive.

    The whole Muslim world owes approximately $650 billion to the IMF and World Bank. Though this sum is still less than the amount our Arab brothers have in their personal accounts in banks all over the world, we can not and we should not expect any helping hand from any quarter. We cannot, in any case, start firing upon these financial institutions right now. We will need to phase out our dependence over these institutions. No new loan is the only guarantee that finally we will be independent of them one day. No-new-loan policy is difficult but not impossible. Today, we have to take more loans to repay loan installments. We, the ordinary people, will have to pressurize our governments against taking new loans. It is government's responsibility to generate financial resources through good governance. If they can not do without loans, they shouldn't be allowed to rule us. Life without new loan will be difficult, but this is necessary for us to live as a proud and independt nation.

    IMF and World Bank are preaching a new doctrine these days - globalisation of capital and free trade, which means that countries should not impose any taxes or restrictions on its imports and exports. It simply means that their technology and expertise in world business will amass the fortune of the third world which will, obviously, be taken back to their countries. For a dubious prospect for new opportunities of employment in developing countries, they should be allowed to make money in our countries and returned home with ocean of profits. While the labour of the third world is being treated like untouchables in European countries, they don't hate the profits they generate from the same countries. While our labour remain subject to acute humiliation for migration to the Occident, our capital is lovable by them. If the new doctrine of globalistaion has any sincerity for the betterment of Oriental countries, it should allow free movement of labour across the international borders instead of the wealth of these countries. Isn't it the worst kind of financial imperialism?
    Reh gaya kaam hamaara hi baghawat likhna...

    #2
    Excellent topic and nicely written post.

    We occasionally talk about the debt problem and how our leaders shouldn’t take loan – some years back Prof. Tahir-ul-Qadri in one of his speeches said that every new born Pakistani has a debt of 7500 rupees, the figures must be well over 10000 per head now. So it’s not that our ppl don’t know what debt means, we basically are not a nation that sees debt as a natural part of life to make it. By that I mean you often see loan schemes for buying house, cars etc. That culture doesn’t exist in Pak in same manner, so whatever deals we have come from top offices and they end there. Too much of what we have been doing was random work, one politicians starts a huge project the next gets elected and stops it – your money is wasted.

    We have from beginning also learned to depend on foreign help – we’re so sure to get foreign aid so we take it easy, I must be insulting millions of hard working Pakistanis by generalizing this way. But our leaders never succeeded to install a clear vision in our minds, so we end up building our own dheR eent ki masajid, even when we’re in other countries.

    I’m not sure but I think CE is the first leader to express disgust over the way we have to go to IMF, still we’re hoping and agreeing to what seems to be random orders from IMF. What options do we have? What consequences does default have for our nation? And what leader would agree to have this failure on his record?

    >> We, the ordinary people, will have to pressurize our governments against taking new loans. It is government's responsibility to generate financial resources through good governance. If they can not do without loans, they shouldn't be allowed to rule us. <<

    Exactly, but we do ‘vote’ for bloodsuckers like NS and BB, why? Election campaign is a big game in very country, most other nations are educated enough to see what’s better for them now and in future. We don’t have this privilege, so our ppl have to follow leaders. They take ‘em wherever they like. Also being politically aware is not in fashion in Pak, or that’s what I’ve noticed anyway, how does one avoid that in countries like Pak? Khair it doesn’t take a genius to find out that if you don’t say anything, no one will hear you. So our ppl should take advantage of this new election system, make it a success – hope the devolution plan will make a difference, and aid our ppl in the decision making process.

    >> Life without new loan will be difficult, but this is necessary for us to live as a proud and independt nation.<<

    It’s gonna be the same for ppl responsible to all the mess, poor ppl might not feel any change either, as for them it’s still the same how do we earn for the next meal.

    [This message has been edited by sabah (edited October 06, 2000).]

    Comment


      #3
      Thanx Sabah for understanding my point of view.

      Actualy exact diagnosis of an ailment is the half treatment done! Fortunately, we are still not facing any problem to which no solution is applicable. As far as the matter of getting rid of international financial institutions is concerned, we will never be able to repay all the loans while still paying huge amounts only as interest and installments. This is only a question of breaking out of the cycle of new loans to pay installments. Once we stop this cycle, our financial hardships will only start going the downhill.

      There are two ways to avoid new loans; that a new set-up is established to generate finance from within the country and the second is that we negotiate deals with Arab countries for long-term, interest-less loans to initiate the process of paying IMF and World Bank without borrowing more from them. Once this process kicks off, we will not need any financial assistance even from Arab world.

      In this regard, expatriate Pakistanis could also be engaged who are always willing to pump finance into the ailing economy of the country through a proper scheme of things.
      Reh gaya kaam hamaara hi baghawat likhna...

      Comment


        #4
        Amal I guess anyone that has ever taken loan would know that paying it back with more loans is not exactly the smartest thing to do. Still our top brains fail to end the circle. I read Alama Iqbal’s poem some time back – about ‘imports’ and our fascination for foreign gods. Now even almost 200 after we still have same problem.

        >>There are two ways to avoid new loans; that a new set-up is established to generate finance from within the country <<

        That means industrialization of the country – If we analyze the new steps, can we say that we’re on right path? How important can we be in the international market and with our tech/products/know how etc?

        >> and the second is that we negotiate deals with Arab countries for long-term, interest-less loans to initiate the process of paying IMF and World Bank without borrowing more from them. <<

        How is Pak’s relationship with Arab countries? Stereotypes etc are minor details, what are our options on higher level? And again how strong is our lobby in Arab countries (here I’m thinking about Pak vs. Pak)

        Comment


          #5
          All the questions and points you have raised and made were really worth of it.

          Fortunately we have more than one option for generating finance from within the country. The very first option for us, to my point of view, should be the realisation of the plan of Green Revolution. Our part of earth has got so much of strength and ability that we can sow anything and reap gold. The Green Revolution will not only save us the foreign exchange we spend for buying green food from abroad, but it will also enable us to make money by exporting the same stuff. It will also have a soothing effect on our local market and a general customer will be relieved to some extent.

          Industrialisation is the second great option we have. If you could believe, Sialkot alone has got some much potential to earn us hundreds of thousands of dollars. All we need to get this money is to make a name for Sialkot in the international bazaar where it already enjoys and quality image and marketize it properly.

          There are quite a good number of products we can prepare in our industries and earn a good money for them. A full list of those items is not possible here, but I am sure our powers that be know it well.

          We have also got a good option for earning money through exporting lightweight weapons. Instead of terrorising our tribal areas where even Klashinkovs are prepared, the government make them a private arms manufacturing industry and by exporting them, we could have dollars. For instance, Sri Lankan army is our biggest customer and our arms are satisfying 90% of its needs. Similarly, some South African countries are also interested in our lightweight weapons. I repeat myself that there is only need of a proper planning and exploiting these opportunities. There is no dearth of options for us to make money.

          As far as relations with Arab countries are concerned, I think still three major countries from Mideast can be wooed easily. Though the labour market of these
          countries is not very friendly for our labours, but government-to-government relations are still in a healthy condition. But I am not sure they like to trade with men in the uniform.

          When Musharraf has made his first visit to one of the big name in the Mideast, its leader has asked Musharraf to let Sharif go. He alone is such a big donor to Pakistan that it would have been only wise to listen to him. But Musharraf did not like to entertain the request of a country which has alone been paying the instalments of our loans to IMF and World Bank.

          For some certain reasons, All these three big donors from the Arab world, like Sharif more than anybody else. But due to their own internal structure of power, they can not and do not like generals in power. So to get anything from them, we will need to return to civilian rule. I think this is all they will be seeking from us. And, by all the stretch of imagination, they do not give us any penny, they can still give us oil on credit. Even this will do for us.

          On the other hand, we expatriates, are open to be used in any way If some good incentives are given, our government can have a good usage of our foreign exchange.
          Reh gaya kaam hamaara hi baghawat likhna...

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