Analysis, South Asia

Pakistan Headlines – 28 Dec 2018


  • Poverty will never be Eliminated by Depending on the Capitalist Trickledown Effect
  • Under IMF Dictations, the Economy will Further Dive, not Revive
  • Foreign Minister Strives to Secure US Private Military and Military in Afghanistan

Poverty will never be Eliminated by Depending on the Capitalist Trickledown Effect

Addressing the members of business community at the office of Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA), Imran Khan said on 22 December 2018 said, “Pakistan, somehow, developed a mindset in the 70s that all wealth creation is a bad thing and it still persists in the bureaucratic and political circles, hindering growth. We tend to confuse profit making and profiteering. The former is legitimate and later is bad”. It is not for the first time that Mr. Khan has underlined the wealth creation by investors as his government priority. However, recently, he has repeatedly added that the eliminating of poverty would occur by the infamous capitalist theory of the trickledown effect. He said, “When the money is earned, its trickledown effect reaches even the lowest segment of society.”

The issue of the distribution of wealth cannot be left to some individuals gaining wealth freely and then wait for it to trickle down to others.  Instead, the increase in wealth by an individual must be organized so as to protect the society from the dangers that would result of leaving it unrestricted. The desire to increase individual wealth is an aspect of the survival instinct just, as marriage is an aspect of the procreation instinct, and worship rituals are an aspect of the sanctification instinct. If these instincts were left free to be satisfied in any way, it would lead to disorder and abnormal satisfaction. So, it is necessary to define the manner by which man acquires wealth, to prevent a minority from controlling most of it, such that the majority of people are deprived of satisfying some of their needs. Accordingly, it is necessary to define the method of possession of wealth by an individual and the way of increasing it, along with the method of its distribution in society.  Democracy has left this to individual will in the name of freedom. This has led to individuals possessing huge concentration of wealth in a small powerful, ruling elite. Even after the 2008 financial crisis, the wealth of the global capitalist elite has increased and the gap between rich and poor has widened.

However, Islam has uniquely addressed the issue of wealth ownership, its increase and distribution. Ownership and its increase is not established except when Allah (swt) allows. So He (swt) permits some contracts and prohibits others. This ensures circulation of wealth occurs without depending on the so-called trickledown effect. Thus, Allah (swt) prohibited private ownership of energy and minerals, preventing the concentration of wealth in the hands of the few, mandating that they are a public property whose benefit of the masses. Allah (swt) prohibited usury (interest) which allows the banking elite to profit from the debt of others and deepen their debt, leading to an increase in the wealth of banks and increased poverty of the masses. Allah (swt) established its unique company structures and prohibited the joint stock share company which allows the capitalist elite to amass funds from others to ensure their ownership of capital intensive ownership, which otherwise would be owned by the state. Allah (swt) revealed, كَيْ لاَ يَكُونَ دُولَةً بَيْنَ الأَغْنِيَاءِ مِنْكُمْ “Let not the wealth circulate solely among the wealthy from amongst you.” [Surah Al-Hashr 59: 7]


Under IMF Dictations, the Economy will Further Dive, not Revive

The government is taking all necessary measures to make the value-added textile industry competitive and vibrant in the international market, emphasized the Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile and Industries, Abdul Razak Dawood on 24 December 2018. Talking to a delegation of the Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA), led by its Central Chairman Mubashar Naseer Butt, the PM aide said level playing field would be provided to the zero-rated export industry, which gets sales tax relief.

On IMF dictates, the rulers of Pakistan raise the prices of electricity, gas, oil, depreciate the Rupee and impose regressive taxes, which increases the cost of production and cost of doing business. All of these steps make our goods uncompetitive locally and abroad. Instead of revoking all these disastrous steps dictated by the IMF, the rulers give some token concessions to some sectors of the economy, particularly to the export sector. Even giving token concessions to the export sector will not revive our economy at all. In any case, Pakistan’s exported goods plus services represent merely 8% of total Pakistani economic output or Gross Domestic Product, which is expected to be 315 billion US dollars in 2018.

Pakistan’s economy can only be revived and converted to a production engine only by implementing the economic system of Islam under the Khilafah (Caliphate) on the method of Prophethood. Islam declared oil, gas, electricity as public property so the state cannot privatize them and is obliged to deliver these utilities to all people and sectors of economy at affordable prices. Islam declares general sales Tax (GST), income tax, or any tax which is not from Quran and Sunnah as illegal. Islam declares Gold and Silver as the basis of currency which makes the currency of the state stable and protects the economy from rampant inflation. So Pakistan needs the Khilafah (Caliphate), not token tax reliefs, in order to make its economy strong and vibrant.


Foreign Minister Strives to Secure US Private Military and Military in Afghanistan

On 24 December 2018 Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi embarked on a four-nation tour aimed at taking regional countries on board about Pakistan’s fresh push to jumpstart the Afghan reconciliation process. Underscoring the importance of his trip, he said, “A collective outlook is essential for progress.” However, the progress that Qureshi speaks of is not for Pakistan’s security. It is progress in securing the US a substantial, permanent private military and military presence within Afghanistan through a political deal, which it had no hope of securing against a devastatingly defiant Afghan resistance otherwise.

The United States has about 14,000 troops in Afghanistan working either with a NATO mission to support Afghan forces or in separate counterterrorism operations. The Wall Street Journal reported that more than 7,000 troops would be returning in the coming weeks. However, there are more than 25,000 private contractors that are hired by the US Department of Defence. The Pentagon defines a defense contractor as “any individual, firm, corporation, partnership, or other legal non-federal entity that enters into a contract directly with the DOD to furnish services, supplies, or construction.” To reveal the scale of the role of the private military, the private defense industry has made incredible profits since 2001, including nearly $100 billion in Afghanistan since 2007. Defense contracting includes intelligence analysis, translation and interpretation, as well as private-security contractors — who began taking over roles once held by uniformed soldiers after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.  Erik Prince, the founder of the infamous Blackwater, wants to pay “proven veterans” who have served in Afghanistan and use them in combat.  G4S, one of the world’s largest security groups, currently helps guard the area around the British embassy in Kabul. For quite some time now there have been several books and articles written on the subject of murky world of US intelligence and private contractors operations against Pakistan and Afghanistan. Earlier, the books like “Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army”, “The Way of the Knife” and a recent account, “Directorate S: The CIA and America’s Secret War in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” have given vivid details of US secret operations against Pakistan.

There is no virtue in acting as hired facilitators for a security agreement to ensure a US private military and military force within the region. It is setting up the distinct possibility of an “Abbottabad Scenario” in the future, where US could strike against Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and missile storage sites. Continued US presence will also allow it to instigate “creative chaos” within Pakistan through an array of capabilities, deployed by the Raymond Davis Network, of whom these private contractors are part and parcel. Yet, act as hired facilitators and peons when the US needs them, taking immense pride in disgrace. And they render themselves disgraced because they seek power through alliance with the enemies of Allah (swt), rather than Allah (swt) and His Deen of Truth. Allah (swt) said,الَّذِينَ يَتَّخِذُونَ الْكَافِرِينَ أَوْلِيَاءَ مِن دُونِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَيَبْتَغُونَ عِندَهُمُ الْعِزَّةَ فَإِنَّ الْعِزَّةَ لِلَّهِ جَمِيعًا “Those who take disbelievers for allies instead of believers, do they seek power with them? Verily, then to Allah belongs all power.” [Surah an-Nisa’a 4:139].