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PTI’s economic scheme

Published Sep 14, 2012 02:58am

MUHAMMAD Jalal Awan has mentioned in his letter (Sept 6) the example of Malaysian growth after Mahatir Mohamad’s reforms. I want to point out that all developed or rapidly growing nations, including Malaysia, did not face militancy in their cities during the development and so the example of Asian Tigers is not relevant.

I don’t agree with Asad Umar’s idea that economic development can be achieved in the presence of militancy.

Until 1977 Pakistan was among the fastest developing economies of the world. Institutions like PIA and the BCCI bank were among the world’s top - ranking organisations, and human development index was rapidly growing changing the economic conditions of citizens.

After the start of the Afghan war in 1979, Pakistan gave refuge to over four million Afghans who brought weapons, drugs and militant ideology with them and destroyed the social fabric of the peaceful and tolerant Pakistani society.

By the 1990s the country was gripped by sectarian violence and hundreds of doctors, teachers and other innocent citizens were killed by Islamic militants across the country.

After the 9/11 attacks in New York, Taliban militants fled Afghanistan and brought the war into Pakistani cities.

According to the Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies, since 2007 Taliban militants have been blasting on average more than one bomb every day somewhere in Pakistan. Various government and military officials have presented the figure of 30,000 innocent civilians killed by the Islamic extremists during last 10 years.

As a result, Pakistan’s economy has critically suffered because of the deteriorating law and order situation. Textile Minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin mentioned in January this year that 40 per cent of the textile industry and over 200,000 power looms have been moved to Bangladesh.

In my opinion the PTI’s economic policy could be a very nice document; but its implementation will be difficult in the war-waged country.

IRFAN HUSSAIN                      London