Pakistan: poor economy, rich country

Published: June 2, 2010
Pakistan is among the richest countries in the world, but also suffers from a poor economy.

Pakistan is among the richest countries in the world, but also suffers from a poor economy.

It was January 2008, a relatively cold morning in Dubai. I was walking on Shaikh Zayed Road after parking my car about 300 meters from the meeting point with my client. I stopped suddenly before Crown Plaza upon hearing a Pakistani labourer arguing with a guy, claiming that UAE was not a rich country.

I went up to the gentleman and said “Khan Sahab are you crazy? You are standing on Shaikh Zayed Road, the heart of Dubai and you are saying that this country is not rich?”

He smiled and responded with a statement that I can never forget. He asked me to ignore all the big buildings, the infrastructure and the trade and then see what the country really had to offer.

These days I have been reading articles on the forthcoming budget and Pakistan’s economy. Being an analyst I am also involved in debates on VAT, capital gain tax and other technical issues. But I am still intrigued by Khan Sahab’s statement, and for the sake of analysis there is no harm in taking a look at where Pakistan stands.

The country has the second largest salt mine in the world, fifth largest gold mine, seventh largest copper mine, fifth largest coal reserves, seventh largest wheat and rice production capacity (can be enhanced to be the largest), is eighth in the rankings of fresh water availability with 2,053 cubic meters of water per person in 1995.

I must stop the count here for I already feel ashamed.

Khan Sahab you were right. Dubai is not a rich country. Dubai is actually a rich economy. Pakistan on the other hand is among the richest countries in the world, but also suffers from a poor economy.

It is quite amazing that the country that is chasing the realization of coalition support funds of 349 million dollars from the USA also happens to possess 185 billion tonnes of Thar coal which is worth an estimated 25 trillion dollars.

The country that faces a severe energy crisis has the potential to generate power supply for the next 100 years by utilizing the same coal reserves.

This coal utilization can save four billion dollars by reducing oil import costs. Dr Murtuza Mughal of Economic Watch stated that coal power generation can cost Pakistan Rs 5.67 per unit for power generation while IPPs cost Rs9.27 for the same. Other than coal, Pakistan is also rich in wind and bio resources of energy.

The point is simply to understand that the way our finance ministers portray the situation does not represent our true economic potential. It is really a shame that we declare it our success and best planning to successfully acquire aid packages from IMF, World Bank or the USA on time.

It is really worrying to think that the financial success of the government in our country is on the basis of financial arrangements rather than economic management.

Our governments feel happy to appoint IMF, World Bank or investment banking professionals as economic chiefs of the country. They either simply ignore the important economists for these positions, or they are just interested in short term fiscal management.

It is high time that our focus on economic planning and budgets to shifted towards clear cut economic goals for developing an industrial base in the country.

We need to come up with policies that ensure a culture of entrepreneurship in the country. Income support programmes cannot serve the objective of economic freedom. It is actually the facilitation of doing business and converting ideas into returns that can change the economic outlook of Pakistan.

We sit over a resource bank of trillions of dollars while we chase millions to survive. This myth of the poor economy of the richest country has to end.

Our prime issues are not VAT, capital gain tax etcetera. The biggest issue is the under utilization of the massive resources available in this land, where our federal budgets has been silent for years. This issue is directly related to poverty reduction as well as developing confidence in the people of Pakistan and about their future.

We need to see beyond fiscal management and look towards true economic management of our country.

Saqib Omer Saeed is a Financial/Business Researcher Analyst and adjunct faculty for Investments and Finance in CBM, SZABIST, BIZTEK & University of Karachi and blogs at

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Reader Comments (69)

  • Jun 2, 2010 - 8:40PM

    Excellent article Saqib…….It is truly a shame that our government has always relied on foreign support……only if we can realize our true potential…we can turn around the things where the entire world would look up to us like they did in 60’s…….All we need is a SINCERE leader who can stand firm in the beliefs and is determined to take this country forward….

    God Bless…!!Recommend

  • Nony Mous
    Jun 2, 2010 - 9:32PM

    Maybe Mr. Saqib Omer Saeed care to enlighten us with the biggest tax called inflation. How about he can tell us in detail what is fractional reserve system. Pakistan is poor because rich are getting richer and poor getting poorer because of concept like these that are brain washed to our brightest mind. Only solution to runaway inflation is 100% precious metal backed currency and throwing out all the IMFs, World Banks, IFCs, ADBs and similar crony institutions, Pakistan economy is sustainable without those leeches. I hope we impose Shariah and rid us with nuisance called banks. Recommend

  • Aftab
    Jun 2, 2010 - 9:40PM

    Thank you for positivity wich we all need in this country.Recommend

  • Adeel Saya
    Jun 2, 2010 - 9:40PM

    Can you please quote sources for your facts? Especially:

    “The country has the second largest salt mine in the world, fifth largest gold mine, seventh largest copper mine, fifth largest coal reserves, seventh largest wheat and rice production capacity (can be enhanced to be the largest), is eighth in the rankings of fresh water availability with 2,053 cubic meters of water per person in 1995.”

    Where are you getting all this from?


  • Nony Mous
    Jun 2, 2010 - 9:46PM

    Khewra – Salt
    Rikodik – Copper
    Rikodik – Gold
    Thar – CoalRecommend

  • SadafFayyaz
    Jun 2, 2010 - 9:59PM

    well researched workRecommend

  • Jun 2, 2010 - 10:05PM

    It is indeed a pleasure to see initial response to my post.
    Thanks for your comments Mr. Adeel. Below are the references of data presented in post. Even if you can just go on GOOGLE and search all these facts you shall see that all are recognized tallies but these days we are so frustrated to see our actual potential. But anyways what we have is really extraordinary. We just need to mobilize as a nation and trust on the gift that God has given to us.
    • 2nd largest salt mines:
    • 5th largest Coal Reserves:–il
    • Wheat & Rice Production:
    • Water per person:

    To Nony Mous: here I talked about the available resources on disposal for Pakistan. Regarding fractional reserve system or any other aspect of national economy, it is always relevant to a big plan that nation always need to have. We just need to count on what we have and rectify our measures on national economy. We just need to get out of the sentiment that we are far behind from any country of the world in term of resources. We can do it. If you go through Dr. Mehboob Ul Haq publications on Pakistan’s economy; so you shall definitely hear that Pakistan’s problem is not inflation but massive under utilization of resources. Once we start using our resources we shall have things in order.Recommend

  • Jun 2, 2010 - 10:30PM

    “is eighth in the rankings of fresh water availability with 2,053 cubic meters of water per person in 1995” This figure has already fallen to 1030 Cubic meters of water per person. Recommend

  • Faizan
    Jun 2, 2010 - 10:42PM

    Do not forget the potentially huge oil reserves, both offshore and onshore, in Balochistan.

    We really are a rich country, but its a travesty that our resources have not been utilised yet. With their use, and a sincere government, I am confident Pakistan can become a developed country in the future.

    We need to raise awareness of our resources, so that people get out of their doom-and-gloom mindset and put pressure on the government to utilise them efficiently and as soon as possible.Recommend

  • cidpusa
    Jun 2, 2010 - 11:01PM

    Emerald mines in Swat
    Sui Gas fields
    Best Rice in the world Basmati
    King of Fruits Mangoes Pakistan one million tons (7th in the world)
    Cotton production 4th in world
    Largest Glaciers outside the poles are in PakistanRecommend

  • farhan
    Jun 2, 2010 - 11:02PM

    good articleRecommend

  • Batool
    Jun 2, 2010 - 11:57PM

    awesome!!!!and 100% true…..Recommend

  • A brilliant Article!

    Thank You Mr.Saqib for highlighting these blessings that we have in our own beloved Country.

    I highly appreciate this article, and I only wish that our policy makers give heed/attention to these blessings bestowed on Pakistan by Allah.Recommend

  • Jun 3, 2010 - 12:27AM

    Nicely put. It is something we should think about collectively and devise a solution, so that we, the future, pave way for progressing and developing economy. All this can only be done if we all unite as a nation with mutual agreement on core issues. No force can stop us then!Recommend

  • Jun 3, 2010 - 12:44AM

    It is a pleasure to belong to a country like Pakistan but a pity to be led by such politicians whom we did not appoint in the first place.
    The question is who would put these lucrative resources to good use when some of them got sold out for peanuts?
    Secondly, if things would have been managed well we might not have faced natural disasters . . . for example having a dam at Hunza Lake . . . Recommend

  • Meekal Ahmed
    Jun 3, 2010 - 12:45AM

    Interesting article and comments. I did hear recently that the World Bank had withdrawn support for developing the Thar coal field. Why? Pressures from the environmentalist in the Bank and its Board? No one seems to know. Why don’t we ask the Chinese?

    On water resources, yes, it was my impression we are facing a looming water crisis.

    It is true that we cheer wildly when we get the next tranche from an IMF program when we should not even have an IMF program because their resources are referred to as “exceptional financing”. We have made recourse to exceptional financing the rule.

    This is because we cannot manage our economy and keep it on a steady growth track when all it takes is a little bit of discipline and foresight. Other countries manage to stay out of the clutches of the IMF. Instead we send the economy off the cliff every three years not because of some unforeseen domestic or external shock (and is therefore not policy-related) but because of bad economic policies and bad management.

    It is inexplicable and mind-boggling. Recommend

  • yawar saeed
    Jun 3, 2010 - 12:57AM

    Jeo Khaan saab, Thumbs Up to youRecommend

  • faraz
    Jun 3, 2010 - 1:15AM

    We dont have the technology required to extract these resources. We’ll have to rely on technologically advanced nations to extract our resources. China gets 50 percent of revenue that is generated from Saindak project. If self reliance and prosperity was linked to resources then Saudi Arab should have been a global power; isntead it obedienetly follows American diktat because it cant extract and purify oil on its own. Nations prosper not because of their resources but on their strength of knowledge.Recommend

  • Taha Johar
    Jun 3, 2010 - 2:42AM

    Very well written and quite true..Recommend

  • WaQas
    Jun 3, 2010 - 3:11AM

    True Reflection of our countryRecommend

  • Tippu
    Jun 3, 2010 - 6:28AM

    Excellent article. And very well written.

    I would also like to add we are the 7th largest country in the world (in terms of population). And as a result, our destiny is to be the 7th largest economy is the world. This is inevitable and it will happen. Hopefully sooner if we get our policies right.

    Even now, we are the 26th largest economy in the world. Thats out of the 200 odd countries on the planet. We should be able to break into the G20 club soon and then on towards our destiny of G7.Recommend

  • cidpusa
    Jun 3, 2010 - 6:58AM

    if you do not have the technology just develop it
    Remember the teachings of Iqbal , asking someone makes you weaker and dependent.Recommend

  • Ali Azhar Khan
    Jun 3, 2010 - 7:14AM

    TALIB E DOARecommend

    Jun 3, 2010 - 9:17AM

    Brother you really wrote the article which truely represents the voice of common people of Pakistan.But hear i will endorse with moiz that we mutually need to do something for this country. we need to do something extra ordinary. Analysts like you should take responsibilty to extricate us from the crisis which we are having for last many decades. I have been reading and hearing for last 2 years and have received plenty of mails that from the coal reserves our energy crisis will be wiped out forever but Question is that how to get up our so called democratic politicians. It is really very lamentable that in the last 2 years many Pakistanis compelled to sold their children.No. of suicides increased and i don’t need to mention ecnomy condition of Pakistan as everyone knows. But Question is how long we will tolerate like this.

    Once again i must appreciate saqib on his superb example and article..
    God Bless you …!!!Recommend

  • Shaukatbrohi
    Jun 3, 2010 - 9:47AM

    Great Saqib…..Recommend

  • Zunaib M Yousuf
    Jun 3, 2010 - 10:12AM

    Thanks Mr. Saqib, appreciate somebody coming up with the better picture of this god gifted country for us, but here I would rather put some reservation on the article. No doubt the article is incredible and reflects the potential growth and self dependency in future.
    But rather than posting the figures and rankings and feeling pride to own the assets, I wish you being an analyst would have come up with some strategies how to execute them.
    I am not trying to discourage you on your article and with depth of my heart admire your research and work, but these information we get on the routine basis from different emails and on you tube as well.
    I would look forward from you to guide our destructive and honor-less government to utilize our assets ultimately benefiting us in less imports of oil and subsequently less trade deficit, source of the generation of income from other sources, as well as reduction in unemployment and sustaining in the current destroyed economy stability.
    Also without any doubt 70% of our economy loss is just due to the 3% of the high profile personalities who conserve themselves from paying taxes, are the same persons who have the most reservation in existing or upcoming government policies and lead the team of 100’s of peoples to protest !!!Recommend

  • Jun 3, 2010 - 11:50AM

    Thanks for everyone’s comments.
    Zunaib definitely! Strategic level articles shall also appear from my desk. Sometimes we would like to write everything but we need to start creating a context to move forward. Just keep in touch with you shall definitely see strategic level writings also.Recommend

  • javed iqbal
    Jun 3, 2010 - 12:00PM

    well mr omar i will also like to know that where are u getting your facts from and i will like to ask jst one question that how does it feel to sit in dubai and start talking abt pakistani economy and if u are pakistani citizen than i think u should be ashamed bcz of people like you pakistan is getting in its worse condition every day, all you hotshots have to do is just to sip your whiskey and smoke your cuban cigar and comment about pakistanRecommend

  • Jun 3, 2010 - 12:17PM

    Thanks for you comments Mr. Javed. Regarding your question for references of facts so you can scroll up I have mentioned references in one of my comments. Regarding your claim that I am sitting in Dubai so I am honored to live in Pakistan. I actually have business network in Dubai. Other than this I have been serving Pakistan in many aspects from education to promoting Pakistan Investment Industry (Alhamdoulillah). I really appreciate your comments that show your concern for Pakistan and this is always required from people of this country.Recommend

  • Rizwan Afzal
    Jun 3, 2010 - 12:21PM

    There is need to alert all the stakeholders of country e.g. Govt, civil society, media, political parties etc to do their utmost in making use of country’s resources and this articles is an effort to the right direction.Recommend

  • Nabeel
    Jun 3, 2010 - 12:54PM

    Very well written article. Something for our future generations to look forward to. In my view we need to bring an aggressive approach to rebuild our economy and break free from our debt. But I am sure our illiterate leaders have other plans. MAKE MONEY!Recommend

  • zubair
    Jun 3, 2010 - 1:51PM

    perfect why these leaders r sleeping acgtually our people r currupt ho choses same faces again n again they deserve current situationRecommend

  • samina
    Jun 3, 2010 - 1:55PM

    we have iron ore at kalabagh. we just need astrong patriotic leader to guide us out of this messRecommend

  • Jun 3, 2010 - 3:47PM

    Such a noble and motivating job done by Saqib and promoted by The Express Tribune, may not go waste by just apperciating it, we must transform our sentiments aroused in to a vibrant and dynamic movement towards progress. The simple and straight step, JUST MOBALIZE ALL THOSE PEOPLE WHO UNDERSTAND THE POWER OF VOTE BUT DO NOT VOTE, I AM ALSO ONE OF THOSE DOVES WHO LET ONESELF AND COMMING GENERATION TO BE MOLESTED BY THE PREDATORS BY JUST NOT VOTING.


    I wish, we all in our humble capacities start working to get the righ people for the right job, by requesting individulas, organisations and media centres/ groups.Blaming none, except those who donot vote.


    May Allah help us!!! Recommend

  • Wasiq kalimi
    Jun 3, 2010 - 5:17PM

    Points raised in the article are very nice and True! But one big resource of our country which you perhaps didn’t mention is Pakistani’s living abroad and the money in billion dollars in foreign banks . Who would address this issue ???Recommend

  • Muhammad Toori
    Jun 3, 2010 - 5:59PM

    Ways to save homeland,

    Demolish Central Bank and Fractional reserve banking system.
    Let the country default on loans, after all this is stolen wealth by money creation out of thin air.
    File a strong case for damages’ compensations that we receive due to global agenda of International community or of a country, which is half a trillion dollars.
    Abandon the relationship with US and UK and rely on own resources.
    Last but not the least; reduce the life standards till the moment when you could afford it through your own resources.
    But very few will understand it because of “Ideological subversion”. What it basically means is to change the perception of reality of everyone to such an extent that despite of the abundance of information no one is able to come to sensible conclusions in the interest of defending themselves.
    Yuri Bezmenov, a former KGB agent, explains “Ideological subversion” as “a great brainwashing process which goes very slow and is divided into some stages, the most important one being demoralization….” Here we find a generational process, which takes from 15 to 20 years. And let me tell you I did not find any demoralized nation stood again without getting rid off the previous bad habits such as relying on easy money and getting fatter.Recommend

  • Mudassar Naveed
    Jun 3, 2010 - 8:21PM

    It is an excellent artical no doubt. I think almost all people having sences and some knowledge about pakistan and its skill can move ahead with them. Despite of the fact that all analysts the intelectuals are trying to realize all levels with in the governement, to all people who are sitting in assemblies but why they are unable to see and listen them.
    I think its the time to say all of them bye in a very straight words. otherwise these illitrate people always try to behave like this and one day only because of these project planners every thing will be drowned. we all need to find one person educated, patriotic, loyal and intelligent who moves all nation towards the success.Recommend

  • Jun 3, 2010 - 8:30PM

    Pakistan can become a richest country of the region, and would not only become capable to produce electricity of own self but can gain efficiency to export electricity to other countries.

    I have also heard somewhere that Pakistanis are the third most talented people in the word… if it is really true, we are rich in resources 360 degree….Recommend

  • Bhalu Khan
    Jun 4, 2010 - 10:14AM

    Saqib Sahab, bohot umdah!!Recommend

  • Saud Ahmed
    Jun 4, 2010 - 12:05PM

    To be truth it’s really a great article after reading this article i can say without any hesitation that “PROUD TO BE A PAKSITANI”. You should be rewarded by your great work through positive comments from all those people’s who have read and who are going to read this article.Recommend

  • Amazed squirrel
    Jun 4, 2010 - 3:44PM

    Excellent article. Recommend

  • Jun 5, 2010 - 12:06AM


    Let me be frank, your comments make no sense at all. You have not fully explained the difference between rich country and rich economy. What i understand is that you meant that while dubai’s economy has prospered Pakistan has a lot of potential due to its natural resources which are lacking in Dubai. However, you did not notice the most obvious contradiction. How come a country without much natural resources ends up being so much economically advanced whereas Pakistan with all its resources is lagging behind?

    To get answer to this question, lets look at the most resource rich countries and most economically advanced countries in the world. In most cases, resource richness has not necessarily transferred into economic growth. Africa is the biggest example but this also applied to South America and Central Asia. On the other hand the most advanced economies like Japan, Britain, Taiwan, Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore, etc. have limited or no natural resources of their own. Certainly, there are few like Abu Dhabi, Norway which have diligently conserved their resources for future generations (through sovereign wealth funds) but lets not forget that in some cases like Nigeria, Iraq, etc. abundant natural resources have become a curse and a source for crook leaders to transfer funds to their swiss accounts or buy weapons to use against their own people.

    Look at the past 200 years progress of the world. The growth of Europe, Japan and USA was not necessarily caused by the abundance of resources but developing of industrial base and technology to convert those resources to the products which can be sold at a premium to the consumer. An extreme example is that we produce denim which is probably sold at $2/sq meter whereas a pair of jeans from that same denim when branded is sold for $200 a pair. We get $2 and they get $198. This is how their per capita income is $40,000 and ours is $1000.

    I am not necessarily denying the fact that we have abundant resources, but don’t forget the capital constraints to develop those same resources.

    Lets talk about Thar coal development. The single mine would require at least $2-3bn with another $1-2bn for a 1000MW coal based power plant. A 1000MW integrated project would require $3-5bn investment. Last time i checked, the local private sector was only able to fund $1bn urea plant by Engro where the group was credible and technology was tested in past. No investor has funds to sponsor even $2bn project and no bank would be willing to take loan risk of even 1/10th of that amount on a technology that has not been tested here. Thar coal has high moisture and high impurities and a very critical ingredient (water) for power generation is missing there.

    What is the solution then? I think in order to develop Thar coal we have got to involve public and private sector institutions in collaboration with donor agencies and foreign mining firms. But the issue is that our government (this or old) is both incompetent and short sighted. They hardly have credible people required to build local and foreign investor trust for such projects. Government on itself can not take initiative due to limitation of human and financial resources and in current environment of such high public sector borrowing, no private sector firm can financially justify investment in any sector. As far as foreign investors are concerned, looking at the transparency of our business policies, overall law and order situation and political stability good luck with that.

    Coming back to the Dubai, dude if you can’t reach them don’t degrade them. Their prosperity, now matter how it has been achieved, is way superior than our backwardness. Admire their vision and sincerity of their leadership. They have achieved in 20 years what others took 200 years to achieve. It is another question whether it is sustainable or not!

    Abdul Rasheed Narejo

  • Jun 6, 2010 - 3:26PM

    Dear Mr. Abdul Rasheed, thanks for your analytical comments. In fact the info you have presented is hitting the same point. Even you quoted Africa so the issue is same Leadership and plan! When we talk about Dubai so we must have to know that Dubai is not an Oil rich state! But Dubai has been there progressive because of their leadership and investment friendly plan. Even when you talked about nations that are not so rich in natural resources so they also worked their today’s excellence because of plan and leadership.

    The point is simple that we have really key resources so shape ourselves in a progressive nation. Second it is 180 million “WE” that can convert anything into progress. So the sense is simple that we have no excuse of lack in resources, we just have management and leadership missing. All along my writing I haven’t said that nations that lack in natural resources can not become great. The scenario has to be understood that is availability of excellent resources and our inability to convert them. Regarding the cost that is required to convert these resources of even billions can be arranged. We already have accumulated billion dollar debt on us so if we shall come up with serious investment plans to convert these resources into progress so the whole world is open.Recommend

  • jehanzeb khurshid
    Jun 7, 2010 - 4:47PM

    mashallah .. really good work done by all of you . very informative and very awaking facts are now open in front of us ..
    now the question is how to get nation in confidence. what are the needful steps required by each of us to make people understand their worth?
    ” what is implementation plan…? “ Recommend

  • cidpusa
    Jun 7, 2010 - 9:02PM

    Get together and get get started
    Lets not wait for the drunks to wake up
    We all have a job Recommend

  • Umar Akram
    Jun 7, 2010 - 9:37PM

    Beautiful article, interesting point of view, not to critical of the government but giving a suggestive tone, good research, opinions supported, interesting introduction………to sum it up an excellent piece of english literature.Recommend

  • Malik
    Jun 8, 2010 - 1:14PM

    Dear Saqib, excellent article – my question to you and all other who are part of this discussion is that – with the current political leadership is it really possible to dream for the change or any improvement for the benefit of the people of Pakistan?

    Who is benefiting from the losses of the people of Pakistan? Our leaders/ MNA, MPA’s etc. until unless we remove these WADERAS and MAFIA from the system it is almost impossible for the positive change in the country. I am sure some of you are aware that these WADERAS block the establishments of the schools and the other people development programs so they can suppress them, if given a choice to the peoples to elect the leaders through fair and free elections 70% of the politicizations will not be elected.

    You have given the example of Dubai, true it is rich economy, driven by single person Shaikh Mohd. I hope…………………for the change in the leadership, Which I am sure cannot take place without major revolution.

    Malik Q Awan
    Doha – Qatar

  • Miriam
    Jun 8, 2010 - 8:22PM

    I think that these type of articles should also be printed in urdu language. If we want to mobalize the comman man, which make up majority of the population, then we have to speak to them in the language they know.Recommend

  • Erfan Afghan
    Jun 9, 2010 - 6:16PM

    Good article. B/w I totally agree with Abdul Rasheed sahib. Africa is a prime example of a continent blessed with resources but hardly any country falls in the 1st world category.

    I think if Pakistan didn’t have all these resources we would have done much better. (Assumption, I know it’s a stupid one) It’s like when you don’t have anything you actually work harder. Pakistan has major issues, give them all the resource and I bet we would have been in a similar position. Recommend

  • Jun 9, 2010 - 10:47PM

    Thanks people for your comments and mobilization.

    Dear Mr. Malik and Erfan, I really appreciate your concern. You have brought some really interesting points. I would like to say that whatever it is, it is now our responsibility because it is not anyone’s but our and our next generation’s future that is on stake. I am sure that time shall not accept any of our excuses for being underperformed. Yes, we know we have lack of leadership, we know that corruption is demolishing the foundation of this country but when we say “Pakistan” so I can say with a lot of confidence that “Pakistan” has nothing to fail except when the people of this country wait for liberator or only sit back relax in their common rooms to enjoy TV shows or talking country’s problems. I think it is a high time when we have to take responsibility and go on.

    Even yes if a nation has a will to be successful so they can even while working without resources but end of the day we have sound resources that are awaiting our conversion for their conversion. I must say don’t forget what this nation have done in 50s and 60s. It is 70s that change the motivation level of this nation and now we have to come back to our real potential. We simply can not ignore these resources and we even don’t have to believe that we can not do anything without these resources; we shall definitely be successful InshaAllah. I think we frustrate very quickly otherwise we have many things to construct us up. Pakistan is not waiting for a leader, liberator or politicians, Pakistan is only waiting for her PEOPLE, and leadership shall be an outcome. It is WE who can do, it is WE who can’t. Decision is pending and in our hands for sure.Recommend

  • Iqbal
    Jun 10, 2010 - 6:17PM

    just to add to this point… and sincere people too.. i mean the common man has to be sincere in all aspects towards Pakistan.. which means we stop doing illicit activities.Recommend

  • Iqbal
    Jun 11, 2010 - 3:47PM

    True. and SINCERE people as well. starting from our ownselves.Recommend

  • Mairaj Muhammad
    Jun 12, 2010 - 3:53PM

    we have so many resource but no proper utilization Mr.narejo fact is this we need leadership.

    Sir excellent article(y) Recommend

  • Rashid
    Jun 12, 2010 - 6:41PM

    this is my first time to read your aticles my dear sir saqib omer, its something very nice to read and i learnt alot, we would need more articles on our current issues as well , thanksRecommend

  • Amir
    Jun 13, 2010 - 10:46PM

    Govt. is putting best efforts to relief Awam, but the issue is when govt took help to IMF, pakistan was bankrupt there was no option left, now govt has to follow IMF, thats y we see these hard actions…….

    Famous Leader take Hard Decision…..Recommend

  • Khalid Hassan
    Jun 14, 2010 - 10:29AM

    Dear Saqib,

    I really appreciate your efforts to write this informative article, but one thing i would like to suggest “Pls come up with solutions also”, we have seen/heard alot already through media (print/electronic) but still Media isn’t suggesting any Plan despite of available HIGHLY ANALYTICAL QUALIFIED PATRIOTIC Human resource..

    We have seen/heard enough of debates, informative reports bla bla… NOW ITS TIME TO TAKE REVOLUTIONARY STEPS…. Pls come up with solution plans & well recommended implementation guidelines.

    Khalid Hassan Recommend

  • Maliha
    Jun 14, 2010 - 2:21PM

    Very nice article Sir. Very informative one. I wonder if we understand our economy related issues so well why can’t our finance ministers do so?Recommend

  • Fida Hussain
    Jun 15, 2010 - 11:09AM

    Thank you for positivity wich we all need in this country.Recommend

  • mazahir
    Jun 17, 2010 - 12:52AM

    Pakistans poverty lies in its lack of sincere leadershipRecommend

  • Asif Khan
    Jun 17, 2010 - 2:08AM

    Very nice article and nicely articulate. I think all these positive elements most of our people including government knows about our country means as potential of country. My worries and concerns when this positive change will start happening. I think at least will not happening until the system will change and right visionary, sincere and bold people start coming on top which is quite difficult in my view at present election criteria and second most important people of our country who elect them to run our country and allow them to take decision for our future and we all know from our past and present standing of our country economically.

    How we can convert all this information into action and who will do that??
    I believe “nothing is impossible in this world as long as we are not interfering in nature”Recommend

  • Abdul Rasheed
    Jun 17, 2010 - 8:52PM


    I have heard many such arguments. Trust me they go on and on and on. I have these arguments everyday with my friends, family and colleagues. We, as a nation, have been having these arguments 60 years back. I appreciate your optimism but i think you are like an ostrich which puts its head in the sand expecting that the threat will go away. You can not just ignore the reality and assume that everything is alright.

    We are a nation of 170mn people. Unofficial unemployment number is already at 20%. We have 2/3rd of our population below 25 years of age. half of these people will enter job market within next 15 years. With 2-3% growth rate how will we accomodate them?

    What is ironical is that a rich person with all the wealth will opt for 2 children whereas someone in village without any skill, education or abundant land will have 5-6 children. I will give you my family example. My family is from a village in Sindh. My father has 10 siblings and my mother has 12 siblings. 50 years ago my paternal and maternal grand parents had 100 acre land and maybe 8 people to feed. Today in the 4th generation there are at least 100 people if not more. Trust me i am not exaggerating. Could you expect that same land would have sufficed to feed all of us. We have survived only because we have moved from agrarian economy to manufacturing and services sectors as agriculture could not have fed so many people. The urban rural population and resource distortions are ticking time bomb.

    Before becoming fanatically optimistic about Pakistan’s future i would advise you to visit some village in upper sindh or Balochistan. Trust me you will realize that your or my optimism would not go a long way in changing the dark reality of those people’s lives. I dont have courage to see people’s condition in my village.

    You should do a little more ground work.Recommend

  • Jun 18, 2010 - 10:13AM

    Dear Abdul Rasheed Sb. I really appreciate your comments. In fact when you talked about going to villages and remote areas so, I would like to state that I visit many villages and small cities of Pakistan generally for mobilizing education campaigns, finding out youth and business potential in areas that are even not known to common Pakistanis. Yes we have problems there but I am not over optimistic. You are talking about 62 years even if it is for 100 years. It is not a point to surrender. We have to work and we have to get back our lost legacy.

    I think we have forgotten from where we have started. We started a country in 1947 without infrastructure. We had no pen and ink in our government offices. We got stones from Reserve Bank of India as a share in wealth. Come On!!! See today’s Pakistan, regardless of many shortcomings Alhamdoulillah we are not that behind. And where we are far behind is in motivation and leadership. France took 170 plus years to be where they are. Study the history of French Revolution. In 170 years France had far bigger problems than we have today. Go and study the history of U.S.A. before becoming THE U.S.A. of today, they were lesser developed than us. Go and see the history of whole Europe they were more disturbed than us due to sectarian violence and racism.

    In fact it is not optimism. It is actually the trust that WE CAN!!!! What we have done to change our scenarios in last 60 plus years that we are saying nothing can change and it is difficult. The point I made is just simple that what God can give to us, He has given, now it is our responsibility to collect our wisdom and will together and go on!!!! There is no excuse in doing so. Last but not the least I also belong to the small village PHULJE in Dadu but even then I never find myself escaping my eyes from the global perspective of my country. We are working to mobilize our nation and we will InshaAllah.Recommend

  • Nasir
    Jun 18, 2010 - 8:56PM

    Sorry Saqib Sb for late comments as I read your article today. The first point came into my mind after reading this article is why we are planning to spend billions of dollars on Iran-Pakistan Gas pipeline when we have such big asset of coal that can be used to generate electricity and reduce the pressure on our own Gas reserves.

    Please comment.Recommend

  • Hussain Saqib
    Jun 19, 2010 - 2:51PM

    There was a widely held mis-perception that Pakistan was a poor country ruled by one of world’s richest “leaders”. This article has cleared everything. We are victims of mismanagement and personal greed of those in high places. Thanks for a very nice article. I have provided a link to this article in my blog: Recommend

  • Jun 24, 2010 - 5:51PM

    I have found this article, and the comments it has inspired, very thought provoking. I agree with the author that our economic potential is vast. The essential problem is to mobilise our human resources, which is an immensely difficult task given our national inferiority complex in relation to the English speaking countries and their language and culture.

    Having a passionate discussion in a language which only a small proportion of Pakistanis understand may make us feel good but it is, ultimately, quite pointless. We need to spread the message to over 95% of Pakistanis for whom these stirring words mean nothing at all. I repeat, if we really want to mobilise the WHOLE nation, then we must learn to communicate in their language (which, I need hardly remind anyone, is OURS as well!). I once wrote an article on this subject, which aroused a fair degree of interest. You can read the article, and the comments thereon, here: Recommend

  • dilshad zafar
    Jul 13, 2010 - 12:00PM

    Excellent article Saquib ,very well keep it up , regards Dilshad .Recommend

  • Ali
    Jul 18, 2010 - 6:35AM

    You forgt we are the 5th largest population in the world too. And our ppl have children like Rabbits….So if we really want to enjoy all those resources…we have to stop having 8 kids in each household…..UAE’s real GDP is 180 billion a year….Pakistan’s real GDP is 435 billion….more than double of UAE…but we have too many damn ppl….Recommend

  • Faisal Amin
    Aug 28, 2010 - 11:02AM

    Frustrated EconomyRecommend

  • Tariq Masood
    Sep 13, 2010 - 8:44PM

    Good one SaqibRecommend

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