How Can A Nation Prosper
A high literacy rate is the fundamental driver of positive change in the socio-economic framework of a country. It ensures the improvement of the healthcare system of the country as literate people are more aware of the prevention and cure of diseases. A high literacy rate also imparts necessary skills to the people which they can utilize to solve their problems. Unfortunately, Pakistan ranks low in terms of literacy rates. Currently, the overall literacy rate in Pakistan hovers around 60% which is, indeed, a dismal position.
Another contributing factor towards the progress of the nation is strong media with the true spirit of journalism. Regrettably, Pakistan doesn’t have such a medium. Most of the media outlets have, unfortunately, become a tool in the hands of politicians who use it against their opponents or to improve their political image. In short, the media is not highlighting the real issues of the public in true spirit.
Another critical factor for a nation’s success is a stable political environment. Sadly, Pakistan is a victim of chronic political instability. The country has remained under intermittent military and civil rules. It has witnessed the imposition of four martial laws while civil governments, too, remained largely unsuccessful in bringing political stability. An unstable political environment, low literacy rates, and a lack of skilled youth; all contribute to the devastation of another critical factor for a nation’s progress: a strong economy. Political instability and a paucity of skilled people de-motivate investors who are always concerned about the deterioration of the law and order situation. Lack of foreign and local investment keeps a huge burden on the economy as no manufacturing process takes place inside the country. Briefly, it can be said that a weak economy is the major cause of hindrance to the development of a country.
Good civil-military relations are pivotal for the proper growth of a nation. Consensus between civil and military leadership in the process of formulation of defence and foreign policies is essential for the security and fulfilment of national interests. Unfortunately, it is a bitter truth that Pakistan has been confronting the issue of maintaining good civil-military relations since its inception. So, maintaining good civil-military relations is essential as well as challenging for Pakistan.
A country can progress well if it is blessed with huge natural resources. Pakistan is fortunate that it has abounding natural resources such as coal, oil, natural gas and precious minerals; the presence of vast fertile land; beautiful rivers and lakes; and so on. These can be utilised to uplift the economy. And these can also provide numerous job opportunities to the people of Pakistan. The issue is that there is a lack of management and provincial conflicts make it difficult to decide how to share these valuable resources among them.
Pakistan has a youth population that accounts for around 65 percent of its total population. Had these young people been equipped with the necessary skills and provided with proper technical education, they could have provided a huge boost to the national economy. Unfortunately, every government has failed in achieving this goal. No significant investment has been made in this sector. Hence, the youth of Pakistan are indulging in social vices and even crimes due to a lack of political will to take responsibility for their future.
The success of a nation also depends on the performance of its institutions. Strong institutions are the key drivers of good governance, as they perform the work of delivery of essential services to their citizens. Pakistan has a weak institutional setup where a lack of accountability, corruption and nepotism prevailed. The value of the public is nothing for these institutions. Politically recruited and untrained staff consider these institutions their personal property and use them for their political bosses and personal gains. Hence, a country cannot progress without corruption-free institutions where merit-based recruitment are done.
Good governance is the only option to make a nation successful. Good governance comes through good institutions, political consensus, enforcement of accountability, strong civil-military relations and investing in education and skill-enhancement programs.
The writer is PCS 2018 Sindh qualifier.