Political Elitism: The Answer To Pakistan’s Economic Downturn? – OpEd


Pakistan is a country that has faced many economic and political challenges throughout its history. Despite having enormous potential due to its strategic location, resources, and a sizable population, Pakistan has consistently struggled to maintain stable economic growth, and political stability.

In recent years, Pakistan has been hit by a severe economic crisis, with a decline in growth, inflation, and rising levels of debt. Many experts attribute this economic turmoil to the mismanagement and corruption of the country’s political elites.

One of the primary reasons for Pakistan’s economic troubles is the mismanagement of public resources by the country’s political elite. The elite class has been accused of misusing public funds for their personal benefit, such as luxury lifestyles and offshore investments. The lack of accountability and transparency in the government has allowed them to do so without any significant repercussions. This misuse of public funds has resulted in a significant drain on the country’s resources, leading to a decrease in investments in infrastructure, education, and health sectors.

Moreover, political elites in Pakistan have been accused of using their influence to gain monopolies and favors in various sectors of the economy, such as telecommunications, energy, and transportation. This has led to a lack of competition in these sectors, resulting in higher prices for consumers and stunting economic growth. Additionally, the government’s favoritism towards certain business groups has discouraged new investments and entrepreneurs, further damaging the economy.

The political elite’s role in the country’s economic troubles is further highlighted by their unwillingness to implement necessary reforms. For instance, despite the IMF’s warnings, Pakistan has failed to implement the required structural reforms in the economy. This failure has resulted in a lack of foreign investment and increased borrowing to fund the government’s expenses. Moreover, the elite class has resisted reforms such as the privatization of state-owned enterprises, tax reforms, and land reforms, which are essential for long-term economic growth.

The political instability and corruption in Pakistan have also deterred foreign investment, causing the country to become increasingly reliant on loans and aid. The country’s dependence on foreign aid has resulted in Pakistan being unable to set its economic agenda, leading to decisions that are not in the best interest of the country. Additionally, the country’s debt has continued to grow, with external debt reaching $140 billion in October 2021, making up around 40% of the country’s GDP.

Furthermore, the country’s political instability has created a challenging business environment, making it difficult for businesses to operate efficiently. The lack of consistent policies and laws, corruption, and bureaucracy have made it difficult for businesses to obtain necessary licenses and permits, increasing their operating costs. The deteriorating security situation in the country has also contributed to a lack of investor confidence, with many businesses unwilling to invest in a volatile and unpredictable environment.

Pakistan’s economic turmoil can be attributed to the political elite’s mismanagement and corruption. Their misuse of public resources, favoritism, resistance to reforms, and unwillingness to implement necessary policies have all contributed to the country’s economic troubles. To address these issues, the government needs to increase transparency and accountability, implement necessary reforms, and create a conducive environment for businesses to operate. Failure to do so may result in a continued decline in the country’s economic growth, leading to severe consequences for the people of Pakistan.

Humais Sheikh

Humais Sheikh, has completed his Master’s from Quaid-I-Azam University Islamabad in Defense and Strategic studies. He is an independent defense analyst and Ex. Vice president of Defense and Strategic Studies student’s society.

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