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Welcoming Naya Pakistan

7 61 152

The Messiah has arrived. How long will it take us now to have our utopia? The promised utopia is not only moral, of the kind that religious messiahs promise. Of course there is the promise of a Madina-like state, but we are also promised a Denmark – material utopia. It is time for Imran Khan to walk his talk. Can he?

The success of Imran Khan’s political narrative lies in reducing all of Pakistan’s problems to a single issue – corruption – and presenting himself as the solution. Corruption is a devil that symbolises both moral and material deviance. It is a serious governance issue. Is it the only demon, or even the biggest demon, that Pakistan has to confront? Will it be scared away by the silver sword of Imran Khan? Will we automatically turn into a developing country by ridding our land of this demon?

According to the Corruption Perception Index prepared by Transparency International, Bangladesh is almost on the bottom of the heap of corrupt countries. It ranks 145 on a list of 176 countries. Pakistan is proudly 29 notches up and is placed at 116. What’s even better, Pakistan has improved its ranking sustainably during the last decade. In 2006, Pakistan was at 142 out of a list of 163 countries listed that year. Yet Bangladesh’s GDP is growing at a whopping 7.1 percent , creating jobs, throwing up a vibrant middle class and reducing poverty – things that will soon work against corruption in that country. Bangladesh’s exports stand at $40 billion, while Pakistan’s exports are merely $22 billion.

Contrary to popular narrative, Pakistan’s economic development went down as it became less corrupt. The correlation here is not causation but it shows that the link between the two is not as clear cut as the PTI would have us believe. In the next five years, we will have to watch how Pakistan goes up on the index and how this change results in prosperity. Going by........

© The News International