Readers’ Thoughts

July 2023

Doomed to Fail

This is with reference to the cover story that appeared in the June-2023 edition of SouthAsia. If a person makes a promise, then he should be firm and fulfill that promise. However, we often read new public announcements and strange things in the print media. 90 days or beyond, the question arises that if the elections are held in October, who will be able to form the new government? Readers may also think that new announcements are being made every day but no one is being acted upon. No political figure associated with PDM has bothered to talk about inflation to solve the problems. The reason is that our political memory is getting weaker and weaker, and all the politicians are busy in the war of survival.

Shagufta Saleem,
Quetta, Pakistan.

Ray of Hope

Development, prosperity and peace and tranquility in any country depend on the fact that there is political stability, the economy is strong and running in the right direction, administrative affairs are being carried out according to the principles of good governance and the fruits of all these are shared by the people. Unfortunately, Pakistan seems far away from this ideal situation of a welfare state. Efforts are being made at the government level to correct the direction of the economy, but no time frame can be given to overcome the economic crisis. Along with increasing the tax rate, the tax system should also be improved. Due to the low rate of collection of taxes, every year there is a huge decrease in the amount required for the federal budget. This is one of the main reasons for bringing the economy to its present state. As things currently stand, the people of the country are unable to see any silver lining.

Uzaifa Jafri,
Islamabad, Pakistan.

Taxation Matters

The foreign debt burden of hundreds of billions of dollars is the result of domestic targets not being achieved. It cannot be denied that in the 75 years of Pakistan’s history, CBR or FBR has been at the center of it whenever the economic situation of the country has been discussed. The need for reforms and widening the scope of taxpayers has not been emphasized. The objective of this organization is to increase revenue. According to a report of the Ministry of Finance, FBR has added 11 lakh 61 thousand new taxpayers in the last 11 months, which is a positive development. However, it should also be noted that the capital worth trillions of rupees is hidden and is not shown in taxation records. Reports of large amounts of capital being smuggled abroad cannot be ignored. This report of a research institute is also eye-catching that in the country only in the fields of real estate, tea, medicines, tires, lubricants, taxes of 9 trillion 56 billion rupees are being evaded annually, which will have to be controlled by strict measures.

Muhammad Ilyas,
Gujranwala, Pakistan.

Vicious Cycle of Hyperinflation

In June 2023, although a slight increase of 0.20% was seen in the inflation rate, it cannot be separated from the indicators that total rate of inflation has reached 36.51% on an annual basis. And it has overtaken almost all countries in the South Asian region. According to the weekly report released by the Federal Bureau of Statistics, the prices of 19 items of basic needs including potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, sugar, laundry soap, meat, milk, yogurt, flour, salt and rice have been hit by hyperinflation. Due to the exorbitant cost of health expenditures and education, these are becoming beyond the reach of the poor and middle class. The PDM government must be aware of the rising prices of essential commodities, which the utility stores are also working to deal with, but there is also the issue of education and health that needs due attention.

Syed Kamran Zia,
Lahore, Pakistan.

Independent Election Commission

It is a clear fact that an empowered parliament, consisting of elected public representatives, plays a key role in the stability of democracy in any country. Therefore, conducting transparent and fair elections is indispensable to create a parliament that has the true trust of the people. Achieving this goal is not possible without an independent Election Commission. But from the early years of the making of Pakistan, the powerful circles put every possible obstacle in the establishment of an empowered parliament. The Constituent Assembly was dissolved with the connivance of the civil and military bureaucracy and the move was sanctioned by the head of the country’s highest court. Since then the series has continued in one form or another. Overthrow of elected governments, abrogation of the constitution, and dissolution of assemblies by dictators became a routine practice and all these processes were justified by the higher courts. The country was ruled by dictatorship for more than three decades and all possible tactics were tried to make the elected people’s governments run at their will while remaining in the background even during the period of civilian governments. The details of the use of the Election Commission as a tool by the powerful circles for desired results in the elections are no longer a secret.

Jamil Raza Hashmi,
Karachi, Pakistan.

Where is Pakistan Heading?

Instead of improving, the economic situation of Pakistan is getting worse day by day. Pakistan’s Finance Minister Ishaq Dar is also worried about the functioning of the IMF and is saying that we will not let Pakistan become Sri Lanka. However, the dollar is not under control. Nor have they succeeded in getting the people out of the vicious cycle of inflation. Pakistan is currently in a difficult situation and all the political parties are playing their own game as no one cares about the people and all the energies are being spent to suppress one person. The government should announce the date of the general elections, and whoever the people vote for, the government, the judiciary and the establishment should accept it and work within their own scope. This will help bring a much-needed political stability in the country and the people will breathe a sigh of relief.

Raja Habib Ismail,
Mardan, Pakistan.

Karachi Mayor Polls

The success of Pakistan People’s Party’s Murtaza Wahab in the mayoral elections of Karachi has raised many questions about the electoral system of Pakistan. The real issue is how the people of Karachi can finally accept the rigged election through bullying and coercion. Karachi is an educated, politically conscious city. But why is it being deprived of its true leadership? How funny is it that thirty-one members of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), who were supporting Jamaat-e-Islami in the mayor elections, were removed from the election process? Hafiz Naeemur Rahman, the candidate for mayor from Jamaat-e-Islami, rightly says that the rights of the people of Karachi have been robbed and they do not recognize this election. The surprising thing is that Hafiz Naeemur Rahman, who has a majority of one hundred and ninety one members, has been defeated and the PPP has finally succeeded in winning Murtaza Wahab with one hundred and seventy three members. This means that the person with the majority mandate was not allowed to become the mayor. After the disappearance of 31 members of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, the whole process of Karachi mayor elections has become suspicious. The fact is that PPP should have given the mayorship to Jamaat-e-Islami, the party holding the majority mandate in Karachi, but unfortunately it could not be done. If the Pakistan People’s Party had given real representation in Karachi to Hafiz Naeemur Rahman, the condition of the city would have changed and the process of development would have started once again.

Bushra Fayyaz,
Karachi, Pakistan.