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The Remedy
Economic Issues
Shakil Amjad


They say that a sultan once said while addressing his court:

Our kingdom is expanding all around and we have done whatever was possible for the welfare and prosperity of the people. However, as our kingdom is the envy of all our enemies, who are constantly looking for some chance to attack us, it seems advisable that our prime minister be entrusted with the onerous duty of finding a befitting answer to their machinations to annihilate our nation. We place all our treasure at his disposal. He may establish immense ammunition factories or raise a colossal army -- he is given a free hand. We believe in his integrity and perspicacity. We only want our country to be invincible.

Quite a reasonable time elapsed, but no noticeable sign of any preparation was seen. The king called a meeting and asked the prime minister to render an account of his work, as the king suspected him of not performing his duty. The reply which the prime minister gave to the king and his courtiers bears an unforgettable lesson for every nation that prefers independence and self-reliance. He said:

Your Majesty, I have fortified the whole country. You may rest assured that the forts I have built cannot possibly be built in any kingdom. The army I have raised cannot be found in any country, and the accomplished commanders who head our soldiers are unlikely to be met in any army. O King, I have spread a network of institutions in every nook and cranny of the country. The generations that come out of these institutions will not only be capable of comprehending spiritual and temporal worlds but embody all the best qualities of a Muslim. It is my firm belief that no enemy can ever dare to cast a malicious glance on our country. O King! the nation which has strength of character and an enviable standard of education, and passes its ideology properly to its coming generations is undoubtedly secure from every kind of danger.

When we turn to our own country, we encounter quite an embarrassing situation. Our country has been independent for half a century. Our land is enormously rich in resources. Our people are potentially as capable as those of any other nation. Why can’t we touch the pinnacle of spiritual and temporal development? What do we have? An aberrant political system, a crippled economic environment with ever increasing debts, a schizophrenic culture and a class-ridden society, not to refer to an ineffective and aimless educational system. Needless to say that we don’t have anything to boast of as a nation.

The above mentioned facts are bitter. They depict a terribly alarming situation, which calls for immediate redress. How can we remedy the plight of our country? The solution is the same which the sultan’s prime minister adopted. It is true that we should not stop acquiring modern technology for the defence of our country, but foremost importance should be given to educate our future generations. To achieve this goals, firstly, an education system imbued with our national and religious ideology must be evolved. Secondly, a network of institutions should be spread all over the country. Of course, the execution of both objectives depends on the government. But in our opinion, private sector is also not free from this responsibility. It is the need of the hour that both the private and the public sectors work side by side to make progress in this regard.

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