Tuesday September 06, 2016
Few Solutions for Pakistan's Mounting Problems
Pakistan is fast sliding down the hill to complete chaos and disaster. Politics is in shambles, economy is in deep hole, legal order has broken, and society is at war with itself.
War against terrorism, an unnatural war for Pakistani society, is taking its toll and consequently Pakistan is falling apart.
Is there something that Pakistanis can do to stop further deterioration?
Economy: 8 years of fake economic management has totally collapsed Pakistani economy. Runaway prices have made common folks life unbearable. They are selling or killing their siblings or committing suicides to escape the vicious cycles of poverty. If Pakistan has to pull its economy out of hole, it has to take following drastic steps:
1) Immediately knock down taxes on the oil to bring the oil prices down.
2) Cut the electricity prices both for domestic and commercial consumers to half for next 3 to 5 years.
3) Stop all officially sponsored foreign trips. No government officials including prime minister, ministers, bureaucrats or scholars should visit abroad at least for next 5 years. Any businessman or private citizen who needs to travel abroad for business reasons should arrange their trips 100% through foreign sponsorships.
4) All imports other than materials required to run manufacturing plants should be strictly banned for next 5 years.
5) Stop all foreign borrowing for next 5 years. Do not accept any aid, grant, subsidy or loan from any international source.
6) Lower hotel rates to the minimum to attract foreign visitors. Take steps to bring peace back in various parts of the country to shed the image of violence, lawlessness off. Set-up lot of visitors' centers throughout the country to help the visitors.
Law and order: Economic development and prosperity is directly related to law and order and peacefulness in a country. In order to bring rule of law back to the society following steps can help:
1) Those who are acting out of constitutional and legal limits set a dead line for them to resign from their unconstitutional and illegal activities. If they resign by the deadline, forgive their past crimes, but deal with them with iron fist if they continue behaving unconstitutionally and illegally.
2) Immediately establish magistrates at municipal level throughout the country with the authority to commute justice in a session or two with the help of a fresh jury for every case selected by those magistrates.
3) All local law enforcement forces should be at the disposal of those magistrates. They should have the power to immediately implement their judgments with the help of local law enforcement forces.
4) In NWFP or for that matter in other provinces of Pakistan use the titles of Kazis for those magistrates and the council of the Kazi for the jury. Such magistracies will neutralize Talibans in NWFP. The people will get quick justice. Use the same magistracies to deal with Talibans. Gradually process them through these magistracies and make them ineffective and eventually eliminate them.
Political Situation: Try to rebuild broken political institutions. The maximum focus should be on building political institution with allowing parliament to play the key role. Following steps can help improve political situation in the country:
1) Keep parliament in session all the time. Parliament should meet in official manner from Monday through Friday for next 5 years.
2) Immediately establish parliamentary committees. Those committees should work as watch dogs to constantly monitor the performance of government departments on day-to -day basis. For next 5 years, these committees should tirelessly interact with related departments.
3) If necessary, these committees should bring all issues of national importance to the parliamentary floor.
4) Parliament should constantly debate issues of national importance. All internal and external policies should be debated and devised at parliamentary floor and then implemented by government departments under the supervision of parliamentary committees.
5) War on terrorism should be debated at the parliamentary floor. Actions should only be taken in the light of decisions taken by the parliament.
Change outward looking policies: Pakistan has unnecessarily internationalized its internal social, cultural, economic, and political and defense issues. Pakistan must take necessary steps to look inward.
1) Do not unnecessarily involve foreign elements to address your internal issues. Have confidence in your institutions such as army, bureaucracy, judiciary and law enforcement agencies to deal with law and order problems.
2) Set a criteria and protocol for foreign dignitaries visiting Pakistan to meet their counter parts in Pakistan if they come on official business. Strictly, follow that criteria and protocol. Do not accommodate foreign dignitaries if they do not maintain the criteria. Also, take action against those Pakistani official who accommodate foreign dignitaries without following the set procedures.
3) Unnecessary foreign interactions are further confusing situation in Pakistan. Deal with Pakistani problems in a Pakistan way with passion, sincerity and honesty.
4) Pakistan is going through a phase where it needs to search its soul and come up with unique solutions for its unique problems. Isolationist, low profile polices will work better for Pakistan than high profile internationalist policies. Pakistan has to put its own house in order before it can play any role in international affairs including war on terror.
There are many other issues and solutions. However, this is the minimum Pakistan has to do to pull itself out of imminent dangers. Ignoring these issues will further complicate the situation. If this deterioration is not averted, Pakistan may disintegrate, which means lot of bloodshed, catastrophes and human tragedies.
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