Celebrating 75th Independence Day under Political and Economic Turmoil – Daily Times

Daily Times
Your right to know Friday, August 19, 2022

Dr Saira Kazmi
August 18, 2022
75th Independence Day of Pakistan is celebrated all over the country with full spirit, zeal, determination, and a pledge to make the country prosperous by bringing economic and political stability. The Diamond Jubilee Celebration was witnessed with a 31-gun salute in the Federal Capital, while a 21-gun salute at provincial headquarters, lighting, fireworks, flag hosting ceremonies, bikers and cars adorning with national flags with jammed pack roads and avenues. The Day awakens enthusiasm, and energy by recalling the sacrifices of our forefathers for achieving an independent country, Pakistan. The question that arises here is that enthusiasm only lies till this date or are we witnessing the same spirit the whole year, and how to maintain the rhythm to keep flowing?
Being Pakistani, we all have natural instant and pledge to keep praying for the safety, security, stability, and prosperity of Pakistan. Under the political and economic turmoil, now the situation seems to be going towards a sustainable scenario. The macro-economic imbalances structural measures have shown positive results, where the federal government placed a ban on non-important imports. Previously, $80 billion were being spent on imports in comparison to $31 billion on exports. It was a huge financial gap that imbalanced the financial rotation. Other than this, the government had to take tough decisions such as raising taxes and ending subsidies. According to the reports that $40 billion tax concession had been given to traders and $30 billion to Pakistan State Oil, which needed to be cashed out the $70 billion deficit. By taking these measures, a lot of pressure was on common citizens to survive and afford the necessities of daily lives. The voices could be heard where inflation has reached 25 per cent.
The next few months are crucial for Pakistan, where it has been successful in fulfilling the demands of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for getting the $1.2 billion bailout package. Additionally, China has refinanced with $2.3 billion in funds to boost the economy. Rising commodity prices and a large fiscal deficit have inflated the import bill that had made it difficult to manage the balanced payment. Currently, the fall of the dollar rate and increase of the rupee is witnessed in the economic market, which is a positive sign of economic survival. In August, the Dollar rate is Rs. 218, which was Rs 240 in July. Thus, making the Pakistani rupee crash by 17 per cent against the US Dollar in July. It owed to the imbalanced payments and political instability.
Where there is enthusiasm, there is a need to guide youngsters properly to invest their enthusiasm and energy on the right path.
Currently, Saudi Arabia has also stepped in with $3 billion in deposit funds via Pakistan State Bank to assist during Asia’s highest inflation rate according to Bloomberg. Additionally, it is reported that the Kingdom is willing to further aid $100 million a month for 10 months in petroleum products. It will surely be a great contribution from Muslim countries if this step is also finalized. By looking at the recent developments after IMF confirmation of releasing funds, the support of China and Saudi Arabia is highly appreciable. Now, the economic situation seems to be moving in a right and positive direction. To maintain stability, there is a need to follow the trend of export and import as surely, it will affect the growth. But, at this hour, we need stabilization and growth will be followed with time.
Apart from economic stability, political stability also goes side by side. The win of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) in July Punjab’s by-election with 15 seats out of 20 is a great leap of success. That was the time when PTI was struggling after the ‘Vote of No-Confidence’ and all analyses termed the opposite. It surely shows the popularity of PTI and acknowledgement towards its services, where it manages to gather larger gatherings on one call. On the recent gathering of 13th August at Lahore Hockey Stadium as ‘Haqeeqi Azadi Jalsa’, again PTI was able to gather a huge enthusiastic crowd. Chairman PTI was determined to carry on his democratic right with the plan of upcoming rallies/jalsas. The 14th of August was welcomed with patriotic songs, and fireworks with pledges to be peaceful demonstrations for their democratic right. However, the power-sharing among the federal and at the Punjab provincial level is raising political temperatures from time to time. It creates and rises uncertainty and disturbances in our context. Where positive signs of economic stability can be seen, there is a need for an amicable solution for political stability as well. One strategy under one or mutually accepted ideology would be more effective other than pulling the legs and moving on in two different directions. The demands and suggestions for elections should be kept under discussion instead of dragging it out too late.
Regarding the government’s steps toward economic stability, PM Shahbaz Sharif stated in his 13th August address that political interests should be kept above personal interests. He recounted the coalition government’s steps in the decline of the dollar rate, decrease in petrol prices, and further measures in the provision of providing cheaper electricity to citizens through renewable energy sources. He has shown determination in holding national dialogue among stakeholders and developing a consensus on the charter of the economy in transforming and taking out Pakistan from the economic crisis.
The signals of positive developments on economic grounds are observed, and hopes have developed on this important day of our history. The Independence Day -14th of August instils patriotism, passion, energy, and enthusiasm among citizens and the national flag can be seen flying over the roofs of majorities on this day. There is a need to keep the momentum and rhythm flowing the same whole year. We need to work on mutually accepted ideology, shun our differences, respect our institutions and show how much we can stand for our country on one platform.
However, togetherness is the strength, so why create differences among ourselves? Respect, and show affection with actions and words as language matters in it. The young generation is required to be guided properly as using offensive language on social media platforms freely without judging all aspects of the situation is a serious offence. We are indebted to the services and contribution of our armed forces, who are the iron walls on the borders and their contribution without any hesitancy can be witnessed in any crisis such as floods, earthquakes, terrorism attacks, etc. Where there is enthusiasm, there is a need to guide youngsters properly to invest their enthusiasm and energy on the right path. This is the need of an hour, to be sensible, vigilant, and patriotic in dealing with issues. On a whole, we are dealing for the sake of our country, where we will live forever. Why not make a permanent and peaceful place altogether? Looking forward to always prosperous Pakistan and every drop of positive contribution in every field matters a lot. Pakistan Zindabad!
The writer is a freelance columnist

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