Economic manslaughter occurs when you recurrently tax a captive and contained tax base without liberalizing and expanding the investment opportunities and the economic canvas with an even playing field. Pakistan has become a classic example of an economy that cannot cease borrowing and cannot in the same stride cease taxing an evaporating capacity, (in economic terms) which can pay the taxes. Then, comes the focus on the heads of accounts that can be taxed and we see something more foolhardy: Taxes are only extorted from electric consumption, petroleum and gas products representing energy, imports, individual income, and communication. These are all controlled and regulated by a glorified bureaucracy the inheritors of the Raj to perpetuate our colonized status. Where are these amounts going and by whose consent, is an issue totally evaded! Responses are based on unarticulated political rhetoric representing utter nonsense. Still worse, the taxpayers are getting nothing but an assurance that rewards are in the hereafter as a heaven awaiting us, and death is the only barrier in between!

With this nonsense in place the essential writ of the people who employ a government and their functionaries as their servants, is absent. With governments in succession and with this government in place just as much, one can witness the same old soap opera in place with slander as the bedrock for actions and inactions. Where are our ideological moorings and its fine moral fiber that can serve as a benchmark for all governmental deeds? We will follow Allah but we will subscribe to the devil, we will not praise oppressors and yet allow ourselves to remain neutral on all principal issues that challenge the rison d’atre of our existence. I am not suggesting anything beyond ‘means to an end have to be as valid as the means itself’. It is abhor able to see politics in my country placed above principal. The reason for decadence in our societies is simply one: The institutions of the state are not doing their respective jobs. It is a grand muddle of authority and principals. The colonial laws are being applied to a pseudo monarchy and the servants of the state are playing with this scenario to their total benefit at the cost of us the people.

These are not superfluous statements as one can see evidenced from the fact that what needs to be taxed is being ignored and what can generate resources is being brushed aside for more borrowing. The army has to be cut to size by legislatively restricting them to the defense of the country and not landlords in a feudal order of the state; the judiciary has to be mandated to mind their business of adjudicating in line with constitution read with the Hudood and stop meddling with the Executive; and finally the Executive has to look straight into the eyes of merit and legislate for the independence of us the people free from the dragnet of the bureaucrat of the Raj mindset. Having said this these institutions still have to work together to make up for what should be the so-called ‘establishment’. All institutions of the state are guilty of being in denial of their professional roles, all-seeking to play landlords. The army will not research and produce the weapons for defense, the judiciary will not streamline it reach and reform the process of law and the Executive will not change the laws back integrating the bureaucracy into civil society. This is our fate for decadence sealed for progeny!

Reverting back to the caption of this article one must seek that there be a hundred percent urbanization in the country with our own resources. There must be a blank cheque for enterprise in identified areas of our territory for the purpose, guaranteed free from the oppressive manipulation of the bureaucracy and the politician. There must be a Standards Act to ‘settle for only the best and nothing but the best’ (Al-Quran). There must be a social contract that the deeds of the government are subject to audit by the people and for the mother of all reforms land in the country must be nationalized across the board for all to pay including institutions that have made it their trade in place of their actual business. Another major factor that surfaces from the perspective of our ideology is the disparity in the medium of exchange. It is imperialistic and supports the cause of slavery or servitude. Foreign trade has to be restricted to a medium of exchange that has the same value between trading partners. We do not need more US Dollars to survive we need more rupees in circulation with a tariff free barrier for trade. We have to import in our currency and export in the currency of the buyers or else use gold units as the balance for trade settlements.

The feel of the old policies without any tangible change whatsoever, being marketed by a new face is the impression one is evidently getting from what is happening today. God alone knows who is behind this mess but it is certainly the continuation of the same rot totally in denial of our ideology.

Be it Kashmir, the domestic price hike or the foreign policy of boot lickers, the principals that make a nation have been restrained to an agreed position of the under-dog. Freethinking and acting people would use the religion of Islam to bring glory and respect to themselves and not abuse it as a shield to enjoy a comfort zone for a select few, at the cost of their own brothers in faith. It is indeed disgusting, as was in the times of the Raj, to not be heard and to not follow what Pakistan represents or stands for.

Mirza Shahnawaz Agha
[email protected]

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