The new government has been formed and the new setup has begun. A lot has been said and there is soo much going on and so many perspectives and soo many analysis being done everyday that one seems as if a lot will be done soon enough. Though the new government has just talked about the audit of the former government’s development projects, and still a lot of focus on the last government rather than things that will be spectacular like fireworks and wow us all. But maybe, we are expecting too much.
Anyway, what we are looking at right now is a financial crisis and I am not an expert at this; I am a lay man when it comes to financial strategies, audits, budgets and all but whatever I know doesn’t paint a good picture of the near future. I remember when Musharraf came to power and 9/11 happened, the industrialists were adamant into going with the Bush and the US because the other way round would ruin their businesses. The economic policies of Pakistan were marked by this main event too as they threatened to put sanctions if Pakistan didn’t chose a side (everyone knows how Bush said it was either ‘with us or against us’ situation). The reason I am going back to Musharraf is because since then, we have seen a very sharp decline in the industrial sector, specially the textile sector. For example, the dye industry has been eradicated from Pakistan, it has been shifted to either India or China. The garments we see in the international markets are either Indian, Bangladeshi or Chinese. Pakistani products are rarely seen in the big brands’ shop where Pakistan was a leading exporter with quality products. What Musharraf came around with has stuck to Pakistan and is still clinging on to Pakistan. My point here is; does the new government of Pakistan know what we have lost, where are we standing, what policies the International companies have sworn us into since Mushy and how will we get out of it, where should we invest, which industry will be on the hit list(as in what will be the top priority?) and how will they go about it? These questions were not answered by the newly formed government as I was expecting so I still feel it is just talk and no work. But since the cabinet is similar to that of Mushy, we might see a facade of things being better… just my thoughts.. I might be wrong.
A lot happened during Musharraf’s era. One can not forget the Oct 8th earthquake that brought in havoc in the northern part of Pakistan. A lot of aid started pouring as soon as the rescue aid operations started. USAID and a lot of other International NGOs started working in Pakistan in the name of help to be provided to the vast mountain area that was devastated by the earthquake. A lot of aid went missing, a lot of things went unexplained. Till date we do not know on what conditions were those aid given, what sanctions were put on the economic and political front in the name of those aids. To think that the International community only gave all that money on humanitarian basis will be too naive. These questions have not been answered and have not been dealt with either by the military government nor have they been answered by the civilian governments that followed. Since the new government is plundering itself into auditing the development programs of the previous government, it is necessary to bring forward the issues, the policies, the loopholes, the man holes of the governments preceding it in order to fully know the position this country in the international scenario since US wants to quit Afghanistan as well.
The issue of the missing persons also started in the Musharraf era. Musharraf, himself has shamelessly recorded in his book, that he SOLD Pakistani men,women and children for dollars. Dr. Afia is still in US detention center and has gone through immense mental, physical and sexual abuse. This is just one case. We know Amna Janjua is still fighting to get her husband back and loads and loads of people, who have been standing there in the capital and are waiting for their loved one’s return. The matter of Dr. Afia is under Foreign Ministry but rest are unknown. Since the newly elected Prime Minister has announced that he will keep the Ministry of Internal Affairs under himself, this must be the most important issue since new cases of missing persons have come up in the last couple of months namely of Romana Hussain and Roshan bibi just on the pretext of being affiliated with Hizb-ut-tehreer. These are the cases that have come upfront,but I wonder how many cases are still under the carpet. These raise a question on the power of the government, the military and the intelligence agencies. The question here is; Why not open trials, why not open court sessions?? Why such secrecy if they are criminals??What are these Intelligence agencies so afraid of? The new government should be able to at least give one statement on this issue.
Unfortunately, the list of issues goes on and on and on. The question is, will the new government be able to answer all these questions, these core issues? Will they work on the facades or will they go deeper to tackle the core issues of this country?
Only time will tell…