Political restraint and tolerance

As another 23rd March ap­proaches in Pakistan, it is un­fortunate that battle lines for con­frontation are being drawn instead of practicing restraint, tolerance, and respect for each other, with a commitment to upholding the rule of law. The sanctity of the consti­tution and its submission by indi­viduals, groups, and institutions is necessary for the restoration of the modern democratic welfare state envisioned by Jinnah, with a functioning economy.

Pakistan’s judiciary must work within the confines of the constitu­tion and give judgments based on it, without any consideration of popu­lism. The parliament alone has the right to legislate and amend the constitution, and this must never be infringed upon by any other institu­tion. Pakistan needs statesmen like Nawabzada Nasrullah who can play a role in defusing this highly polar­ized political environment through compromise by individuals, with­out resorting to banning political parties, so that democracy can func­tion and the economy can revive.

The Elite Capture of Pakistan’s economy must be rescinded and replaced with a functional econo­my where the state collects reve­nues through direct taxation on all sources of commercial enterpris­es. While it may not be the busi­ness of the state to do business, it is also not the business of state-funded institutions to be involved in commercial ventures and car­tels. Emphasis should be on invest­ment in science and technology to attain an economy that boosts ex­ports, promotes healthy competi­tion, and reduces reliance on im­ports. The agricultural yields of yesteryears must be revived to en­sure essential food self-sufficiency.



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