Dr. Ishrat Hussain’s astute observations regarding the challenges stemming from frequent changes in government leadership offer profound insights into Pakistan’s political landscape. The perpetual fear of premature exits has stymied leaders from making bold decisions, and this apprehension may have restrained progress compared to regional counterparts like India and Bangladesh. The incessant alterations in policies accompanying shifts in leadership thwart sustained development and plunge our nation back to square one.
Leaders, hesitant to undertake decisive actions, fear potential repercussions on their tenure. Consequently, this apprehension impedes the implementation of vital policies, hindering the country’s trajectory towards development. For over 25 years, Pakistan has witnessed a staggering turnover of 12 prime ministers, exacerbating political uncertainty and stymieing consistent policy execution. In contrast, India and Bangladesh, with fewer changes in leadership, have demonstrated more stable policies, aiding their advancement.
Dr. Hussain’s emphasis on political stability, consensus building, and meritocracy resonates as vital components for effective policymaking and implementation. A cohesive political environment fosters consensus on critical economic policies such as privatisation and deregulation. Establishing stability encourages leaders to make progressive decisions aligned with the nation’s long-term interests. This approach stands in stark contrast to the current scenario, where policy shifts often stall growth initiatives, hampering Pakistan’s socio-economic progress.
Moreover, Dr. Hussain advocates for an eight-point agenda, recognising the pivotal role of sustained growth, reduced reliance on external borrowings, and inclusive development. The imperative for sustained growth aligns with Pakistan’s dire need for consistent, long-term economic strategies. Excessive dependence on external borrowings, as cautioned by Dr. Hussain, stifles the nation’s investment and savings initiatives, impeding self-sufficiency and long-term stability.
Dr. Hussain also underscored crucial factors like export-led growth, inclusive development, devolution plans’ implementation, and addressing climate change. Prioritising these facets provides a comprehensive framework for addressing Pakistan’s economic challenges. A focused effort on these areas will not only bolster the economy but also ensure a more inclusive and sustainable growth trajectory. Without a doubt, fostering stability and steadfast policy implementation remains the bedrock for Pakistan’s progress.