Countries may be likened to individuals who are resourceless and in order to grow and progress need help from their near ones, dear ones or they borrow from a professional lender. That may be understood as the reality of setting-up a business for which capital is a sine qua non. Such attempts of likening countries with individuals appear quite promising, but are paradoxical. The case of Warren Buffet may be used, for instance, for Pakistan to follow. Is it so? Or it tears apart the likeness between both?
In the first place, individuals are individuals, and countries are countries. One cannot be both. In the second place, countries are political-legal entities wherein millions of individual human beings inhabit. Thus one man’s struggle may not be likened to the struggle of millions of individuals under a state. An individual may be resourceless or resourceful; he may borrow from his relatives to set-up a business, or from his friends or a professional lender or lender institutions. He may fail in his struggle, and then may join another successful business. Or he may come out as a successful business. Or when failing, he may have financial, practical, professional, or moral help extended to him by his relations or friends or well-wishers. Or he may continue with his business on a sustaining level and be happy with it. There are billions of real examples being lived, shaped and created by billions of real individuals. Against this, as far as countries’ examples are concerned, there may only be few ones, and those too turn out to be individuals’ efforts at making their countries adopt such policies which free their individual citizens to bring progress and prosperity.
So, Mr. Prime Minister, the first thing to see and realize is that Pakistan, or for that matter any other country, is a real place on this planet where millions of individuals full of life and urge to live live. Mr. PM, you cannot replace their individual plans with your plans for them from the above. Mr. PM, why don’t you look back and see your father struggling with a small business and finally transforming it into a big business empire? Did your father require a government or for that matter government of Pakistan to help him make progress? So unlike your father why do you think and act like a government which in your view brings progress and prosperity to the country? Mr. PM! It was your family business which brought progress and prosperity to Pakistan; not the government of Pakistan which brought progress to your family business!
The second thing to see and realize is that the sole task of a government is to let its individual citizens make their own plans and implement them in an environment of peace where their life and property enjoy complete protection. Such a government is not one which imposes itself from the above; it works among the citizens ensuring them security of their person and property and dispensation of justice as its foremost function. No doubt, in performing this function diligently such a government makes sure the citizens are free to enjoy their fundamental rights and freedoms and no individual or groups or state itself are encroaching upon their personal freedoms.
However, altogether opposed to such thinking and approach, I see your government completely obsessed with foreign help/loans to bring prosperity to Pakistan. Mr. PM! I see it as a misleading economic philosophy. Rather it is the economic philosophy of Pakistan’s Riyasati Ashrafiya (State Aristocracy) and one of its two ingredients is: Prosperity comes down from the above, i.e. prosperity is a prerogative of Riyasati Ashrafiya which it allows to flow downward to its subjects. It means prosperity is brought by a country’s government. Its second ingredient sees prosperity as something imported from abroad. Certainly, it is too Ashraafist to see prosperity as something imported; at the same time it is quite natural for Riyasati Ashrafiya because it lives and thrives on that. This ingredient has developed into an independent Ashraafist model of progress and prosperity. This model stands on the proposition: Progress and prosperity of a society is the function of the magnitude of foreign help, grants, loans, which its government succeeds in procuring for it.
This Ashraafist model of progress serves both parties: which gives and to which is given. The first party pursues its politico-economic objectives in giving, be it grants, loans, etc. The second party, which otherwise may make good use of it, always aims at many a target in receiving what is given to it, which include from hefty appropriations for itself to political good-will at home. You know Mr. PM! You and your party in the heat of Islamabad Inqilab and Azadi Sit-ins have been harping on the visits of this or that country’s delegation and especially of Chinese President’s visit as a result of which agreements worth billions of dollars between the two countries were to be signed and which these Dharnas obstructed; which finally would bring forth prosperity to Pakistan, it was argued.
Now when you have signed a lot of agreements in China, it is being argued that it would bring prosperity to Pakistan. No sooner were you back from China than you went to Germany, and it is reported after that you would be proceeding to UK. Very good progress, Mr. PM! That means there is something wrong with your prosperity model for Pakistan. It’s not that an individual or a country needs no help or loans to prosper; it needs both but only when it desperately requires that. No individual or country espouses taking loans as a philosophy of life; it’s about 7 decades that Pakistan government is living with this philosophy in the name of prosperity which is still a far-fetched dream.
Mr. PM! Progress and prosperity lies here within the individual citizens; why do you look for it abroad! Trust the Pakistani citizens! Only let the market forces under due regulation work to create wealth. Let them freely trade either with China, Germany or India wherever they find a good deal. Only reform your state and its machinery to the effect that it’s not there to control but to facilitate. And you will see, Mr. PM! Progress and prosperity sprout from within!
Note: This article was completed on November 11, and was originally posted in November 2014.