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The Bangladesh model

25 24 137

Two weeks ago, while speaking on a television show, I demanded the PTI to turn Pakistan into a Bangladesh before transforming us into a Sweden.

Interestingly, a video clip of the show went viral in Bangladesh and even the prime minister of Bangladesh commented on it, extending a hand of friendship to Pakistan after a long time and offering to share experiences. South Asian print media also picked the debate and this paper reported it three days ago, though it was the only paper that chose to censor my name – denying me a rare moment of recognition.

Many readers have raised a legitimate question: why should we look at countries that are like ourselves, instead of emulating the best in the world? After all, the PTI’s populist promise of development is based on bringing home the best practices of the most developed countries, and delivering us development in days and weeks.

Imran Khan had assured the nation that it was possible because of the two distinct advantages he enjoyed as a leader: one, he had spent a lot of time in the West and thus had cracked the code of Western development. And two, unlike the corrupt leaders in the Third World, he is thoroughly honest. Unfortunately, becoming a developed country is much like becoming a millionaire. It is easier for a motivational speaker to deliver dreams, much harder to change the reality.

There are many complications associated with what many experts call the challenge of ‘getting to Denmark’ by emulating the Western countries. The economies and governance systems of developed countries have evolved over centuries and there is no actionable memory of how this process unfolded. These Western countries went through very different historical........

© The News International