Development
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Rida Hussain |

According to the interpretation of the general notion, the accelerated development of Pakistan is directly proportional to the incoming dollars in terms of monetary loans and aids.

Since the end of military rule in 2007, Pakistan saw the revival of the political activities and within a decade it has seen twice the legitimate transfer of authority through a democratic setup. The two major political parties, PPP and PML-N, took their turns in the supreme office.

Apparently, at the national and international level, this change was appreciated and lauded. We also saw, the Army defying every circumstance of a coup in these ten years. The ruling elites and media fraternity praised this change, particularly in the strategy of the Armed forces.

Keeping in view the current pathetic situation of Pakistan on every front, there is a dire need for the Judicial system of Pakistan to formulate and include at least one new section of “development” in the Penal Code of Pakistan.

On paper, things seemed perfect enough to presume that Pakistan would soon become the Asian Tiger. But what has Pakistan, as a state, as a country, actually gained in these ten years?

Read more: Rs 920 billion: Why has Pakistan increased the defense budget?

As opposed to the general definition of the development defined by the United Nations in their Million Development Goals 2003, where the emphasis was on improving the quality of life, unfortunately, in Pakistan the whole dimension and the concept of development was completely altered by the ruling elites, and also reverted back to the old model of development, i.e. focusing only on economic growth.

The complete halt of devolution of power, the increased linguistic tussles, heightened inter-provincial disharmony, international isolation, institutional confrontation, and abject poverty; was this kind of development expected in the democracy?

The question here remains unsolved that whether this transformation in the dimension of development is natural or has been done deliberately.

The scenario of 2017 in Pakistan is much different than that of 2007. Keeping in view the current pathetic situation of Pakistan on every front, there is a dire need for the Judicial system of Pakistan to formulate and include at least one new section of “development” in the Penal Code of Pakistan.

How to measure development…

First, it should be made mandatory for the Prime Minister to be regular in National Assembly. How can you expect the subordinates to perform flawlessly when the leader of the team himself is aloof from the matters of state.

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Can anybody explain what kind of development is this when the drop out rate of children from schools is still high owing to poverty and child labor?

A crude opposition is the essence of the democracy; a friendly opposition as seen in Pakistan is a slap in the face of democracy. We can hardly cite any examples of the opposition taking a hard stance on issues of public welfare. The weakest link in our political setup is the incompetence of the opposition.

The Penal Code must also make it mandatory for the public office holders to get themselves treated in local hospitals so that they can feel the plight of the general public.

Unsurprisingly, each Government claims to make this much number of schools in their regime but what’s the big deal in making a few buildings of concrete schools. How often are these power holders asked about the enrollment levels of children at school during their rule? Can anybody explain what kind of development is this when the drop out rate of children from schools is still high owing to poverty and child labor?

If the inflow of dollars means development then African countries would have been the most developed countries in the list. To one’s mind, it is hard to fathom as to what kind of development we are talking about when after the passage of 70 years we still cannot bring an end to the ongoing insurgent activities in one of our provinces, Baluchistan.

Read more: Pakistan’s strong economic performance? Questionable

For a meaningful development and effective democracy, this is high time to have focus and vision instead of a dollar-driven development.

Sadly Pakistan’s development doesn’t lie in the construction of roads, motorways, bridges, malls through IMF loans. International organizations of WHO, UN, USAID too are not responsible for bringing prosperity in the country.

Elections are nearing and sooner or later the campaigns will start kicking in. This is the right time to ask the leaders about their vision but unfortunately the manifesto of each party talks more or less the same.

For a meaningful development and effective democracy, this is high time to have focus and vision instead of a dollar-driven development.

Rida Hussain is a Master’s in Mass Communication from the University of Karachi with a keen interest to write on social and current affairs. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.

Rida Hussain is a Master’s in Mass Communication from the University of Karachi with a keen interest to write on social and current affairs.

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