IN his letter ‘Changing global dynamics and Pakistan’ (Dec 8), Iqbal Ismail has said that in 10 to 30 years the US will become self-reliant in oil and will no longer be dependent on Gulf states for it.
This will endanger the latter’s prosperity which will thus not require immigrants’ services.
The large number of Pakistanis working there will have to return, thereby shrinking our foreign exchange earnings which, coupled with the arrival of so many jobless folks and ensuing misery of their dependants, will be a tremendous burden on the country.
The solution to this crisis, according to him, is that since India will be better able to cope with this disaster (he donen’t explain how), we should bury the hatchet and accept India as the senior partner, even though it will to be on equal terms. “India will lead, and we will have to tag”, he concludes.
I am all for good relations with India. But the writer, while letting his imagination run wild, has forgotten several things. One, that until the 1990s, we had a higher per capita income and a visibly better standard of living, with much fewer beggars or street – dwellers, even according to Western associates of mine who used to visit India. With good and honest governance and rule of law, we can surely regain that status.
Two, even during the present global economic crisis, India has been affected more than Pakistan, due to its greater reliance on exports.
Three, before the Middle Eastern boom began, we weren’t starving and, if it ends, we are resilient enough to survive.
When the US aid wasn’t coming and we were under all sorts of embargoes, we were still managing. For example, in the last couple of years Afghanistan has been found to have trillions of dollars’ worth of minerals; similarly, we could find oil, gas, precious gems and mineral wealth.
Instead of worrying unnecessarily, we should imbibe hard and honest work and also be more self-respecting.
So, we must stop relying on others and learn to rely on our own efforts by putting our house in order.