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Who bears the responsibility for the economic downturn?

Ahsan Ansari

In recent times, Pakistan has grappled with severe economic challenges that have left its citizens bewildered and frustrated. The nation has witnessed rampant corruption, smuggling, hoarding, and money laundering, all of which have taken a heavy toll on its economic stability. The question on many people’s minds is: Who is responsible for the destruction of the economy? This article seeks to shed light on the various factors contributing to Pakistan’s economic woes and explore the accountability of different stakeholders.
Corruption has long been a pervasive issue in Pakistan, infiltrating every facet of society, including politics, bureaucracy, and business. The embezzlement of public funds, bribery, and kickbacks have siphoned off enormous sums from the national treasury. It is crucial to note that corruption is not limited to a particular political party or group; it has plagued governments of various ideologies. Consequently, all political leaders share some degree of responsibility for not effectively addressing this issue.
Smuggling and hoarding are economic crimes that severely impact the availability and affordability of essential goods. Smuggled goods evade taxes and import duties, causing massive revenue losses for the government. Hoarding, on the other hand, leads to artificial shortages and inflated prices, burdening the average citizen. These activities are facilitated by a network of individuals and groups, including traders, customs officials, and law enforcement agencies. The responsibility for curbing smuggling and hoarding lies not only with the government but also with the enforcement agencies tasked with preventing these illegal activities.
Money laundering is another critical factor undermining Pakistan’s economy. It involves the conversion of illegal gains into seemingly legitimate funds, often through complex financial transactions. Money launderers exploit weaknesses in the financial system, making it difficult for authorities to trace the origins of illicit wealth. Banks, financial institutions, and regulators bear the responsibility for implementing stringent anti-money laundering measures. Failure to do so can lead to severe consequences, as money laundering facilitates other criminal activities and perpetuates economic instability.
One pressing concern is the perception that certain political parties have been in power for extended periods without effectively addressing these economic challenges. This has fueled the frustration of the people, as they see the gap between the rich and poor widening. Politicians have a vital role in shaping economic policy, and their accountability is paramount in a functioning democracy. The electorate must hold politicians accountable for their actions or inaction when it comes to economic reforms.
To address these pressing issues, Pakistan’s caretaker government and armed forces have taken actions against economic crimes. However, the challenge remains whether these efforts will continue when a new government takes power. Unity among opposition parties, as seen in the “PDM,” can play a crucial role in holding those in power accountable for their actions. A robust and vigilant opposition can ensure that economic reforms are not abandoned for political expediency.
The responsibility for the destruction of Pakistan’s economy is a complex web involving corruption, smuggling, hoarding, money laundering, and political inaction. It is essential to recognize that no single entity or group bears the sole responsibility. Instead, a collective effort is needed to combat these challenges. Citizens must demand accountability from their leaders, while leaders, regardless of their political affiliations, must prioritize economic reforms for the benefit of the nation. Only through such concerted efforts can Pakistan hope to overcome its economic woes and build a more prosperous future.

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