Time to ponder

Sheema Ayub

In the midst of corona pandemic, the government has somehow dejectedly imposed lockdown that overtly makes it a widely debated decision. With comparatively low trajectory of the infected people, for the time being we are somehow doing well than the US at least. It is because its economy is sixty times greater than that of Pakistan and it is reigning high in the field of medicine and technology. Nevertheless the US has not ordered a substantial lockdown yet.

The decision is not new for a Capitalized economy which structurally comprises a chain of continuous process of investment and entrepreneur, in the slight obstruction of which, the entire edifice of the timely delivery of public service and thereby political welfare gets collapsed. Therefore the US is still encouraging the public to work. Big cartels like Google, Facebook and others have asked their employees to perform duty online while staying at home. Resultantly the business machinery will be kept in motion despite the lockdown. Hence, the US being mindful of comparatively low mortality rate of Corona virus wanted to confront the outbreak with iron hands but without compromising its economy.

Ironically, the lockdown decision in Pakistan ispolitical rather than need based. The Sind government has taken the lead in this regard which our chattering anchors have widely hailed with a pressing demand to extend the same throughout the country. Fearful of its political opposition in the largest province, the government of Punjab has followed in the footsteps of the Sind government making a mockery of the PM’s feelings for the daily wagers and soon the lockdown has been extended throughout the state. However, its implementation is quite horrible. The rural areas are not complying properly with the decision.

It is because of the large population either ignorant of the lockdown or if they somehow aware of, do not take it seriously for their bigotry or poverty. Consequently, hundreds are incarcerated daily for violating the law in Punjab, Sind and KP.

The ruling party blames it on the ignorance of the people without acknowledging the fact that under the darkness of the same very ignorance it has rose to power in 2018. Concisely the virus has exposed the lacunas within the structure and hierarchy of the government. With the rumors circulation about the PM’s resignation such fallouts can be politically catastrophic in the prevailing conditions.

Our economic conditions cannot bear the lockdown for long. Despite the possibility of a food crisis, the government has extremely little margin to pay off the servants without getting them to work. The IMF has not shown any approval for waiving off any debts. It has also not approved formally to reschedule the debt plan or give any other unconditional aid to under developing country like Paksitan.

All we have to do is to pull our socks and be prepared to face the music of further inflation. Hence it is high time to reconsider the complete lockdown policy. Our financial capacity do not allow us for an open choice to experimentand make a ditto copy of Europe. Their financial value, technology, research and above all their nationhood is far better than us. We have a verylimited choice.