Achieving Economic Progress
This is with reference to the cover story titled ‘A Friend in Need’ that appeared in the October 2023 issue. One must appreciate the efforts made by your editorial staff to bring out such a comprehensive cover story on a matter of enormous significance, especially for a cash-strapped country like Pakistan, along with some other struggling economies of the South Asian region. I believe the need of the hour is to devise a long-term policy to address Pakistan’s deep-seated socio-economic problems. However, this task can never be achieved without having political stability in the country. At the same time, an error-free import and export policy is imperative to help Pakistan’s economy stand independently– an arduous task achievable with the support of the World Bank and the IMF.
Say ‘No to Israel’
Nero fiddles while Rome burns, a ubiquitous reality that could be recently seen in Palestine. Humanity is dying in Palestine. Israel’s tyranny has exceeded limits and violated all ethical, moral, and legal norms and values. Today’s Palestine presents a ghastly spectacle with ear-piercing human screams and widespread hunger. Food is scarce, water is blocked, and there is no place left to bury the bodies, which are now scattered everywhere, thus raising questions about the rampant insensitivity of Muslim countries towards the plight of Palestinians. War-obsessed Israel took another extreme of brutality by bombing a hospital in Gaza. More than 8,000 Palestinians, including doctors and nursing staff, were martyred in a single incident. The deadliest airstrikes since 2008 are tantamount to genocide. Gaza evacuees are also being bombarded. Thus far, the number of martyred Palestinians has reached 3700. Though the Islamic world cries tears of blood against this open cruelty, its helplessness is also evident. The destruction and destruction of the land of Palestine is not just rhetoric; it is waiting for the practical steps of the international community. However, the Palestinian people have the entire diplomatic, moral, and political support of the Pakistani nation. We will continue to support a durable solution to the Palestinian issue and end the illegal occupation of Muslim holy sites.
Favourable Investment Environment
Pakistan Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar has recently invited China to invest in Pakistan’s solar energy sector, a timely initiative taken by the caretaker setup. It is of particular importance for Pakistan as a favourable investment environment will strengthen Pakistan’s efforts to improve the environment on the one hand, and it will also help the country address its pressing socio-economic concerns by reducing its energy import costs to a significant level. These efforts must be continued in the future, as Pakistan needs to sort out all its major issues before it is too late.
Pathway to Progress
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is the flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), with an investment of $25.4 billion. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), by and large, has been playing a leading role for developing countries in particular, providing lasting growth based on investment, innovation, and modernization. The mega project has increased the people’s tax-paying capacity and the government’s debt-paying ability. The scenario is rapidly changing now. CPEC is a game-changer that paved the way for the socio-economic development of the marginalized and weaker sections, a sign of strategic trust and growing economic and trade relations between China and Pakistan. In the long run, the BRI programme will help reduce poverty and social inequality, as it has emerged as the most successful development financing model for developing countries.
Dr. Aaliya Imtiaz,
Importance of Solar Energy
Solar energy is currently one of the least expensive energy sources in the modern world. Still, Pakistan is getting about 600 MW of electricity from solar, which is 1.6% of the total production. According to an estimate, the energy demand in Pakistan is expected to increase eight times by 2030 and twenty times by 2050. In such a situation, it becomes essential to use solar energy resources because Pakistan is geographically located in a region where sunlight is available throughout the year. Solar panels are ideal for maximum utilization of energy. Solar energy is also vital to solve the energy crisis relatively quickly. Solar panels and power plants do not produce air pollution or greenhouse gases but increase the use of solar energy and electricity from other sources.
In the eyes of Pakistan’s former prime minister, taking a U-turn is a sign of outstanding leadership, but the hallmark of his leadership is that he sticks to his word: Fulfil your promises. Yes, if a revolutionary change occurs in the situation, it may be justified for the leader to change his policy or course. By the way, a great leader can change the situation. In politics, especially our politics, expediency and opportunism are being discussed. Still, I have seen many people who keep an account of every penny but unhesitatingly support cruelty and injustice and do not listen to the voice of their conscience. Alas! Imran Khan is also no exception.
Deep Political Dysfunction
Confronting multidimensional crises, Pakistan is currently grappling with one of the most severe economic crises in its history. The country is teetering on financial collapse owing to political instability, poor governance, the rupee plummeting, and inflation at a historic high. To make matters worse, foreign exchange reserves are low, the Pakistani rupee depreciates daily against the U.S. currency, growth is sagging, and commodities and fuel prices are skyrocketing. In place of addressing this formidable challenge, the leading political parties are on a collision course with each other. The government’s strategy is contradictory, and deep-seated political turmoil casts a shadow over the country’s economic future. At this crucial juncture, Pakistan can ill afford the political unrest and power struggles in play, and the need of the hour is to address the imposing challenges. It is high time that all political parties and state stakeholders put their heads together and help the caretaker government handle the ongoing crisis sanely.
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