- Growth in Economy does not Reflect Ending of Poverty
- As Heat Rises to Unbearable Levels, so do Electricity Shortages in Karachi
- Alliance with the US Results in the Spilling of Muslim Blood without Punishment
Growth in Economy does not Ensure Ending of Poverty
The PML-N government on 9 April 2018 announced that the economy is going to grow at 5.79 per cent, slightly lower than the target of 6pc for 2017-18, but highest in the last 11 years. The per capita income calculates to Rs180,204 for 2017-18, higher than Rs162,230 figure for FY17 based on provisional data from Population Census 2017 held in March last year.
In the capitalist economic system, growth has been the most important parameter to judge the health of the economy. Therefore governments use growth statistics to show their performance. It is true that growth indicators is a measure of change in the economy generally, but it does not reveal the plight of each individual. In Capitalism, most of the wealth generated has been accumulating in few hands, creating severe disparity between the “have not” and “have a lot.” Due to the concentration of wealth in America, 90 percent of its wealth lands is in 20 percent of its population, whilst the remaining 10 percent of the wealth is distributed in the remaining 80 percent of the population. Even in this 80 percent population 40 percent have next to no share in the nation’s wealth. Millions of people in America live below poverty level, don’t have houses and therefore living on streets, don’t have access to health facilities.
This scenario develops because capitalist economy focuses on production led growth only and does not address the issue of distribution principally at all. Therefore no matter how much Pakistan’s economy grows, under the capitalist economic system, poverty will be rampant with people deprived of basic needs and facilities.
In contrast, Islam’s economic system focusses on the distribution of resources to enable each and every individual to use them in order to earn livelihood. RasulAllah ﷺ said, «وَأَيُّمَا أَهْلُ عَرْصَةٍ أَصْبَحَ فِيهِمُ امْرُؤٌ جَائِعٌ فَقَدْ بَرِئَتْ مِنْهُمْ ذِمَّةُ اللَّهِ تَعَالَى» “Whenever the people of an area wake up with a hungry person amongst them, then Allah’s covenant and protection to them is absolved.” [reported by Ahmad from Ibn Umar]. So in its Introduction to the Constitution, Hizb ut Tahrir has adopted in Article 124, “The primary economic problem is the distribution of wealth and benefits to all of the subjects of the State, and facilitating their utilisation of this wealth and benefits, by enabling them to strive for them and possess them”. Clearly the economic problem is the poverty of individuals, i.e. the poor distribution of wealth amongst the individuals which results in the poverty of the individuals. Therefore, the problem is the distribution of wealth to every individual subject of the State, and so it is obligatory to address this distribution such that the wealth reaches everyone and eventually the overall economy grows as well.
As Heat Rises to Unbearable Levels, so do Electricity Shortages in Karachi
For many people in Karachi, electricity shortages was becoming a receding memory. An even larger number may not agree, since load-shedding in areas designated as ‘high loss’ never really went away. Industrial areas and those localities where recoveries were better, however, are now used to virtually uninterrupted power supply, except for the occasional technical fault. But all that changed towards the end of March, when a sudden dispute erupted over provision of natural gas to the power utility, which runs most of its power generation fleet on gas. The dispute broke out in the midst of a heatwave, when demand for electricity had spiked, and K-Electric put in a request for enhancement of gas supplies by a minimum of 120mmcfd for a few days, and an average of 190mmcfd through the summer. When it was pointed out to the gas supply company, SSGC that the matter is not of “reduced supply” but rather of failure to entertain a request for increased supply due to onset of summer and increased demand for power, their response brought a new element into the picture: they were demanding payment of outstanding arrears from K-Electric before entertaining the request.
Such is the miserable result of privatization of energy assets. Each component must be profitable and immensely so and dispute with other components in the energy supply chain about payments. These profits are immense and are taken out of the benefit of the energy resources and put in the pocket of private owners. When the assets are not profitable, they will curb production to control losses. So the problem is not about Pakistan’s resources or their potential, but the ruling applied upon them, which creates financial crises.
The only cure to Karachi’s energy crisis is the implementation of Islam’s economic system, which alone would generate more than enough revenue to revolutionize the economy. Unlike Capitalism and Communism, Islam has declared that energy is neither a private nor a state property but a public property for all the Muslims. RasulAllah ﷺ said, «الْمُسْلِمُونَ شُرَكَاءُ فِي ثَلَاثٍ: فِي الْكَلَإِ، وَالْمَاءِ، وَالنَّارِ» “Muslims are partners in three things: water, pastures and fire (energy)” [Abu Dawood.]. Thus, although the Khilafah state takes charge of managing the public property and state property, it is not permitted for the Khalifah to grant the ownership of the public property to any private party, whether an individual or group, as it is a property for all Muslims. Revenues are for the public, looking after its affairs and securing its interests, and not for the state. The state will ensure the operation of the public property assets, even if the operations occur at break even and even at loss, when needed, to ensure the economy is not brought to a standstill and the people do not suffer. This applies to all the abundant wealth of public property, whether energy, such as petroleum, gas, electricity or replenishable minerals, such as copper and steel, or water, such as seas, rivers and dams, or pastures and forests. Indeed, the entire Ummah is known to possess the lion’s share of the world’s energy and mineral resources, but without Islam’s economic system, the Muslims are drowned in poverty and the Ummah carries no weight in world affairs, even when compared to states that possess a small fraction of her material wealth.
Alliance with the US Results in the Spilling of Muslim Blood without Punishment
Tensions persisted this week after 7 April 2018, when a US diplomat hit and killed a motorcyclist as he jumped traffic signals in Islamabad. Police said that Colonel Joseph Emanuel Hall, defense and air attaché at the US Embassy, hit the motorcyclist at a traffic signal at the intersection of Margalla Road and 7th Avenue at around 3pm. “The traffic signal was red but he broke it and hit the motorcyclists coming from other side,” a senior police officer told The Express Tribune. Police said there were two youngsters on the motorcycle, one of whom died on the spot, whilst the other sustained injuries. The police held the culprit in the police station for some time, but then released him citing diplomatic immunity.
This is not first time that American officials or diplomats have committed such crimes and sought to escape punishment for one reason or another. Previously, US Joel Cox was arrested at Karachi Airport carrying a weapon, but was later released. A month later an attack was carried out at the same airport. Whilst on 27 January 2011, the American Raymond Davis fired several shots at two Pakistanis and killed them at Muzang Chorangi, Lahore. Moreover, in order to evacuate Raymond Davis, the US consulate sent a land cruiser which killed another person en route. The US finally succeeded in securing his release through agents in the Pakistani political and military leadership. These heinous crimes committed by American officials in Pakistan proves that they have contempt for local laws. The Americans have confidence whilst committing crimes, because of their agents in ruling elite. Thus, through alliance with the US, the regime has failed to protect its citizens against the US, whether it is through drone strikes on Pakistani territory, or terrorist activities by the Raymond Davis network or being run over by American officials running red lights.
The reason for this consistent failure to protect the pure blood of the Muslims of Pakistan is due to rulers that consider the US as an ally. In Islam such a state is regarded as an active belligerent state whose citizens cannot have any diplomatic status in Khilafah state. It is dealt with on a war footing, with no diplomatic or official personnel upon our soil. Thus enjoying diplomatic immunity is out of question. In the Islamic Khilafah, the likes of Colonel Joseph Emanuel Hall or Raymond Davis would not exist on our soil, let alone commit crimes and then escape justice. Allah (swt) said,
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَّخِذُوا عَدُوِّي وَعَدُوَّكُمْ أَوْلِيَاء
“Do not take My enemy and your enemy as (awliya)”
(Surah Mumtahina 60:1)