Every year the day comes and goes. This year the nation of Pakistan should mark Defense of Pakistan Day (September 6th) as a day of introspection. Let’s do a soul search. Will every new baby in Pakistan be born forever in debt? Why have successive Pakistani governments failed to provide universal health care and education to the population? There are several points to consider.
Pakistan is undoubtedly an Islamic republic, but not a theocracy as the founding father Mohammad Ali Jinnah imagined. AK Brohi has in his The Basic Law of Pakistan the contours of a theocracy are very well emphasized. But in our exaggeration to Islamize our economic system, we often come to the abyss of hypocrisy.
Interest banned under the Pakistani Constitution
The Islamic preamble (Objectives Resolution) was inserted into the draft constitution under the influence of the Pakistani Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan. In contrast to the US and many other secular constitutions, the Objectives Resolution (now the preamble to the 1973 constitution) says “Sovereignty belongs to Allah Almighty”. The golden words of the constitution have been twisted to continue an interest-based economy. We pay interest on our international loans and international transactions. Do we live in an interactive world or in an ivory tower?
Article 38 (f) of the Pakistani Constitution cited above provides: f) Elimination of Riba
Follow-up on prohibited ‘interests’
The Pakistani Security and Exchange Commission enforced Sharia governance rules in 2018. This ordinance is a follow-up to Article 38 (f) of the Pakistani Constitution and Senate Resolution No. 393 (July 9, 2018) abolishing the riba (Usury).
(extortionate interest) and normal interest / profit cannot be distinguished. They even prohibit storing bank accounts. They point it out riba is an abomination both as an “addition” (taffazzul) and as a “delay” (nas’ee) due to fluctuating purchasing power.
The settlement is to be welcomed, but there are unanswered questions about the Islamization of the financial system in Pakistan. We pay interest on our loans and international transactions.
Future trading is the hub of modern trading. Yet it is forbidden in Islam. Islamic contract law does not even allow upfront contracts for raw fish, fruit, or anything that contains an element of “uncertainty”. Islam doesn’t even allow tallaqi-ur-rukbaan (Buy camel loads of goods from caravans before they reached Madina Open Market.
Transform consumption-oriented Pakistan into a productive economy
Let China help expand Pakistan’s manufacturing capacity and thereby reduce unemployment in Pakistan. All policy makers should act unanimously. These include policy formulators (prime ministers, finance ministers, etc.), policy detailers (chief economic advisers, statisticians) and technocrats. Policy makers should decide on the distribution of priorities. Agriculture or industry, “closed” economy with import substitution, “living within the conditions” and a balanced budget or deficit budget. Will higher spending “crowd out” or “crowd out” private investment? Monetary Policy Objectives and the Role of the Central Bank_ Stability of Employment and Inflation, Growth Rate, Balance of Payments Issues Role of Foreign Direct Investment and “Non-Bank Financial Institutions? Their influence on capital formation, consumption trends and other macroeconomic aspects.
Construction of Kalabagh and other dams
The first priority of most countries including USA, Russia, Brazil and China was the construction of Hydel projects. China’s great foray into industrial progress came from a number of Hydel projects such as the Three Gorges, Gezhouba, Xiluodu, Xiangjiaba, Longtan, Hongshui, Nuozhadu, Jinping-I and II, Yalong, Laxiwa, Xiaowan, Goupitan, Guanyinyan, and Ahai.
The Kalabagh Dam project was approved by the Technical Committee on Water Resources 2003-2005. It consisted of eight technical experts, two from each province. In order to save monsoon currents from the upper reaches of the Indus, they approved the project. In addition to the growth of mangrove forests, the committee examined all aspects, including the effects of dilution of seawater with freshwater, penetration of seawater into groundwater, irrigation of rivers and forest fisheries. It was later titled the 3500 megawatt KBD by the World Bank Indus Special Study Group in their report Development of Pakistan’s Water and Energy Resources: A Sector Analysis (1967).
The estimated cost of building the dam was $ 6.12 billion over six years from 1977 to 1982. After the Tarbela Dam opened in 1976, the dam could have been built in six years by 1982 Electricity was Rs. 1.5 compared to Rs. 16.5 per unit from thermal sources. We are losing Rs. 180 billion a year due to production being ten times more expensive (12 billion xRs.15 billion). Add to this a loss of $ 6.12 billion annually due to the wasted flow of 30 million acre feet of water from Kotri Barrage into the Arabian Sea (an MAF valued at $ 1 billion to $ 1.5 billion).
Our water resource reserves have not increased equal with population growth. Three provincial assemblies have decided against building the KBD. One politician claimed the dam would turn Sind into a desert. Fears about the dam could be allayed through a review of the water distribution agreement (as ordered by the Lahore Supreme Court in its November 29, 2012 ruling, case no. WP 8777). No justification for killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.
Pakistan’s health system is in tatters. There is only one hospital for federal civil servants, the Federal Service Hospital. Instead of building new hospitals. Successive civil governments allowed civilian residents of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, and those who happen to have CNICs in the named cities, to receive free treatment in the named hospital. Because of overcrowding, the hospital has become free for officials. Even high-ranking officials with lifelong service must stink in general wards. The officers’ departments are assigned to non-civil servants who can handle the bastard doctors. Recently I, aged seventy, with 40 years of service, was hospitalized. Look at my agony. I had to use a smelly clogged toilet with a flat seat that I could not get up from without assistance. The medical superintendent didn’t even visit the wards during my stay.
For lack of money, we should put our fragmented, unbridled hospitals under a civil-military supervisory board and distribute the burden sensibly. The facilities at PIMS should be improved, including an increasing number of ventilators and dialysis machines.
The politically sensible burden on the residents of Rawalpindi / Islamabad for the federal hospital is to be relieved. The hospital is good now.
The “civilian officers, on duty and retired who are paid from defense services” should be assigned to the military (CMH / AFIC) to ease the burden on FGSH patients. A revolving fund may be created to give them the right to 24/7 treatment subject to the payment of a portion of the contribution (ex.
No health system in the world, not even the US “system”, is perfect. Nevertheless, everyone by and large delivers the goods. The well-known medical system of wealthy countries is the Bismarck model (plural health insurance model), the Beveridge model, the national health insurance model, the self-service model and the US model. The government should take advantage of the medical systems of rich and poor countries alike. The Bismarck model is followed in Belgium, France, Germany, Japan and Switzerland.
In general, healthcare providers in this model are private companies. The state neither owns nor employs most doctors. Health insurance is also offered by private companies, not governments. Governments strictly regulate the cost and other aspects of health care (no arbitrary fees and rottenness). The US outperforms its peer nations in health. However, there is no general health insurance or general health insurance.
Thailand’s successful health plan reflects three lessons: preparation, strict control, and being pragmatic and politically open-minded.
Thailand accepted opposition and other stakeholders. Thus, despite the change of government, the plan remained intact. Thailand’s per capita income, health expenditure and tax base are comparable to India. Still, it achieved universal health coverage in 2002.
It spends around four percent of its gross domestic product on health. In Thailand, out-of-pocket medical costs have dropped to 12 percent, compared to 40 to 60 percent in affluent countries. The proportion of children who died in the first five years of life fell to less than 1.2 percent. Thailand saved money by closing or consolidating select, uselessly deficient hospitals (like ours) that had large state budgets.
The little that is said about it, the better.
We have to do a soul search. We learned a lot from the planning and development experiences of the Ayub era. Is it fair to delegate the construction of dams to the provinces?
Pakistan abolished interest (riba) according to their constitution. However, the banking sector and international transactions are interest-based.
Let Pakistan face the truth. It must develop and present a politico-economic model of Islam that is compatible with international practices. Or do without hypocritical patchwork and opt for the secularist IMF model.
What is the justification for the top-heavy paraphernalia of civil government when it cannot even provide health care and education to its citizens?