Pakistan’s development process is non-performing. It is non-performing as it has taken on policy situations which were both obsolete and time had overtaken these or these were the outcome of some hybrid policies brought in by expatriates that had lobbied through such international agencies as the WB/IMF and or the ADB. That these institutions are the handmaidens of the developed countries goes without saying. The interference of the developed countries in the affairs and policymaking of these institutions need not be gone in to at this stage. Suffice it to say that Pakistan has suffered as a result of these non-functional cultural hybrids coming in to the system. These things always happen when dictators are in position. The wholesale import of these Western CIA induced individuals started with the Ayub regime. The institutions developed in the 1960s during his period had personnel from two American universities here – Stanford and Boston [later Chicago came with its two anna piece]. The influence started during the Ayub continued with Zia, and then Musharraf. These were individuals that had been brainwashed in the American economic and political system and were furthering the interests of the western countries. These were also people that were culturally morons. It may be interesting to read about these very people in Ruth’s magazine called the ‘Old Mole’. She managed to get hold of secret state document indicating that the economies of two countries where one Dr Papanek was posted as an undercover economist had been connected to and dependent on the economy of the US (see documents revealed by Ruth first ostensibly from Dr Papanek – who had to be sent fortnightly report on everyone aspect that they had been involved in). Having made this assertion the rule required that those that were in position of power should have managed these aspects carefully and responsibly instead of implementing policies given by these undercover economists to the dictators for whatever reasons of their own.
It started with liberalization as a policy function. Free markets are never free and never fair. In the developing state such as Pakistan the masses were ignored and the robber barons and mafia were created. These became so powerful that there was no way that in later years this mafia could be handled by a soft state. Pakistan’s policymakers became the handmaidens of these strong policy matters [in fact Musharraf in one of the three meetings that the author had with him stated ‘Dr Sahib you have powerful friends and powerful enemies’. The counter statement was ‘discount my friend about I will tell you the mafia that must be in touch with you’. I did so and he agreed that that was so]. Institutions created by the Stanford and Boston group continue in their own obsolete way till today. These harbingers of liberalization policies that influenced dictators are now either temporarily or permanently buried. They will reemerge as ‘hit men’ again when Pakistan’s policies go into limbo. It will, sooner or later through bad governance.
Why and what was the rationale for these liberalization policies? Was it because the interfering policies were self-enriching for the bureaucracy and the politicians? Was it because the wastes that had been created by these personality-oriented interference policies? Let me give you an example from Islamabad infrastructure was developed where Musharraf had planned his luxury farmhouse. He has not been able to live in it and I doubt that he will ever live in it. The road infrastructure and the electricity infrastructure costs are mind boggling. Nowhere in the world are such costs incurred. The tragedy also was that shops belonging to the poor and mosques that provided dangers to the lordship were demolished or changed to another locale. If liberalizing policies were based on such negativities then that were responsible for these? The very policymakers that wanted these new policies were the ones responsible. There was another kind of confusion that emerged – the creators of new policies were using these for their own purposes. Policymakers’ ethics was questionable to say the least. So whether in the hands of the mafia or in the hands of the liberals the enormous wastes would still be there. It is the ethical norms that were missing and the ability to have a self-censorship system in operation. At the moment no policymaker has been wrong in Pakistan – it is the 200 million people that are vagabonds and mischief-makers. Ask any self-justified policymaker. Whereas these policies were supposed to take care of the rent-seekers and remove the protection and privileges that were unnecessary, all they did was reinforce these and created some more of the same.
No one bothered about the failures that had emerged after the late Dr Mahbubul Haq taken on such policies. The decision-maker in Pakistan does not see the implications of policies designed to help individuals and the self. The interference has to be examined in terms of involvement and that per se requires that the policies would be designed for the many rather than the few. Pakistan’s failure has had many serious consequences that have impinged on the social sectors and made governance by the few impossible. Force is no longer an option. Reason and well-intentioned policies are required. To my mind if the previous dictators have to be questioned it had to be on the side of reason and not how they committed criminal activities. The argument as to the failure of liberal policies is secondary to what the legacy of this country was and continues to be? If one wants to read about the excluded areas one has to read the literature and authors of the deprived regions of Pakistan to come to any meaningful conclusion about police that lead to deprivation and depraved actions by individuals. Fata, Balochistan, Sindh (Thar area), Punjab (Cholistan) and Gilgit-Baltistan all speak of the mismanagement and the exclusion of these areas from the development process. So the traditional arguments of the West on liberal policies are not relevant to Pakistan. They can never be. The flip side of the coin is that the natural resources have been frittered away for personal gains. The country and its policymakers never learnt from the East Pakistan experience. They had abused history instead of using it profitably for the public good. Incidentally there are no public goods left in Pakistan, all these have become useful for personal purposes.
Mindful of the media the policymaker has developed a serious disease of diarrhea of the mouth. They will make tall claims and then create another problem – serious problem for the public and the country. The two countries that stand out at the moment are Italy and Greece. Both have squandered resources and look at their condition. It was always maintained that the electronic media is a self-justified medium for the rich and the powerful. In Pakistan that is very much so except that in Pakistan the media is a shouting match between enemies or politicians who do not seem to like each other; shrill voices on the media hardly constitute reason and reasonable policies.
Efficiencies are of many kinds and humans have always glorified at the way that the population requirements have been met through technological advancements sand enhancements. If then we start looking at the mega projects (the favourite terms) of some of the well-dressed politicians one then realises the futility to talk to the superficial politician and bacterial ones. The opinions of these people is going to be more and more irrelevant as time passes and as people realize that they have been taken down the garden path and that there is no light at the end of the tunnel.
Time and space are always limited. There is more to this than the present. So next week hopefully the argument will be further developed as to what constitutes Pakistan’s welfare.