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Tuesday, June 11, 2024

‘Charter of Economy’ against democracy: Javed Hassan

Javed Hassan says it is through the exposition of their differences in economic vision that the public gets to have a choice.

Political economy expert and Chairman of Economic Advisory Group Javed Hassan said the so-called ‘Charter of Economy’ is essentially an attempt to ensure no accountability – a core function- in a democracy.

Taking to Twitter on Wednesday, Hassan said “Political parties are not meant to agree on the economic issues, adding that it is through the exposition of their differences in economic vision that the public gets to have a choice.”

“If there is going to be no questioning of each other policies, then the public will be left with little but a choice of personalities. It would mean that none of the political parties question the dreadful CPEC IPP contracts that lie at the heart of the energy crises plaguing us.”

He said that it would also mean that the ridiculous ideas of ‘import substitution’ and the ban on ‘luxury products’ will not be vigorously contested.

“The charters of this or that point to an obscene desire to have a  conspiratorial silence among the elite political classes not to question policies that directly impact people’s lives,” he said.

He said that would mean there is a form of governance where the few decide while the rest follow. “It goes against the very basis of democracy. Such dangerous propositions are inevitably cloaked in the garb goodness, in this case consensus.”

He stressed that such concord among the ruling elite in the name of the Charter of Democracy “is little more than quenching the very soul of democracy. True democracies only prosper where there’s vigorous debate and acceptance that on every issue, there’s a diversity of opinions.”

Sharing Journalist Habib Akram’s youtube video, Hassan said he made similar points on the idea of Grand Dialogue. He said that all of it is “essentially a desperate attempt by the few to stitch everything up for themselves at the expense of others.”

Hassan’s statement comes after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday reiterated his call for formulating a ‘Charter of Economy,’ stressing that there could be no economic stability without political stability.

Read more: PM Shehbaz Sharif reiterates call for charter of economy

Addressing a day-long pre-budget business conference in Islamabad, the premier said, invited all stakeholders to join hands to launch “an unalterable policy framework” to revive the ailing economy so that no future government could compromise on important national issues.

“Let us sign a ‘Charter of Economy’ for economic stability and progress and seal it so that whosoever will come to power cannot change basic goals.”

However, PTI leader and former information minister Fawad Chaudhry had already dismissed the idea saying, “There’s no such thing as Charter of Economy. There can’t be consensus within political parties regarding the economy as they do politics on the economy.”

“There can be consensus on the process of accountability, the appointment of the judiciary and the extent to which it can interfere in politics, suo motto’s jurisdiction, but when it comes to the economy, all the political parties have major differences.”