Can Pak adapt China’s dev strategy?

If we can we will be n a very high.If we don’t it will not be the President’s responsibility for he gave the wherewithal to the implementers and if they are found wanting Pakistan’s and the President’s efforts would be in vain. What did china do to get here? It may sound simple but in fact it requires people of high stature to do the needful and to give willingly to the nation and to the poor of that nation. The strategy was simple. Three simple ideas from the Deng regime onwards have been first a strategy for growth second a strategy for alleviating poverty and thirdly to keep the party in power through sheer good governance. The three ideas may sound simple but it requires a conceptuality that is falsely missing. The discipline and the ability to work for goals that was and is seldom seen. The USA borrowed heavily from them during the crisis. Hilary Clinton was there and in negotiations when the Pakistani delegation was also there. A day to day account was published in the local press. So we were also kept abreast of the actual happenings and it was clear that the Chinese economy was in no problem.

Pakistan has sought a number of interventions from them but I will be dealing with the agricultural side and especially the soft side of things. I am not particularly enamored by technology that is hard-machines have never been my strength, for there is a lot of leeway in the implementation. The real trick is to develop a system of doing things that can be cheap and consistent, in other words substitute the cheapest system of manufacture for a costly system. China’s dynamism and the turmoil that is created as a result will never be understood by stagnant minds. They will also never understand that the discipline that is inculcated is by the superior behavior of the leaders of China. A China strategy is not about plans alone it is about changing what is considered inevitable and ringing it in to the service of the country.

What makes the Chinese culture important is that the bureaucracy dare not make it difficult for those that are involved in the development of the country and whose role is critical for china ensuring a world role. Where other countries were dithering because of global recession China decide to do things its own way and to create demand they asked the manufacturers to cut the price by one third and put in the remaining one third and asked the rural population to buy the goods at one third the price. Who could resist so a consumer society was created so that the quality of living would improve and the rural people would have the same conveniences as the urbanites. Secondly to make sure the demand for the manufactured goods continued.

That China has turned agriculture on its head is definitely within the purview of and known to the President. The scale of that change is not within any one’s grasp and the midgets like me and others are merely hangers on trying to understand what is going on and trying to imitate the China effort. That imitation is not possible unless that amount of discipline is brought in. Discipline is not a function that can be brought in overnight and not one that is possible in a country where exceptions rule. China has decided that low aim is crime and it wants to be part of a one world strategy. USA and the west cannot do without it. Some of the areas where collaboration with china is on is in the filed of cotton, rice, sugar cane and in each of these commodities china has done excellently. It follows from the critical mass of hard working people involved in agriculture. We have not even started to look at the critical mass of human resources that may be needed. Further the ability not to interfere in the economic effort was not entirely unexpected. With the size of China in perspective how and who can afford to interfere?

Come to Pakistan and we see why we are where we are? Intrigue and backbiting is the order of the day. The same political party will have various kinds of mavericks whether it is the Nawaz, or the Q-league or the current party in power there is a growing apprehension that all is not well. Where as democracy invites and encourages debate and dialogue it does not debate individuals but issues. Now that is difficult given that we have all our lives abused and hated people and not what they stand for. Issues have never been important to us and on can see the amazing amount of abuse heaped on people, in the print and in the electronic media. The result is all too obvious. Every one is brought a peg or two down and we relish this. We relish it because it some how elevates our own image of ourselves. One of the surest ways to remain sane in Pakistan is to abuse oneself roundly every morning for two or three minutes [you would be astonished to know how many abuses one can narrate in that short period of time]. It was in former East Pakistan that I came to understand the virtues of Punjabi and one of those was the ability even for the Bengali to abuse so roundly and smoothly Punjabis.

In real economic terms the institutional arrangements have become obsolete. In agriculture the economist is defunct and more involved in ‘kamingies’ then one can ever imagine. The projects approved are sat on unless there palms are somehow greased. The delays then take place in the parent ministry. The China based projects that were approved by the last Chairman have run foul of the existing personal and so much so that the project having the directions of the countries top executive goes missing or is willfully put in the cold storage. Things are not allowed to move and since the chain of checking corruption has to go corrupt itself what can be done. One can bang ones head against the wall the head is likely to break down. Should they be taken to task? The funniest aspect came when a section officer on behest of the secretary roughed up a direction that was linked to the China project.

In cotton, in rice, in wheat and in sugar cane the impact was different. The Chinese technology that was adapted by us was successful in some areas and in some have to be brought in for the local people should also improve their livelihood. So in wheat we decided that we can use the Chinese technology bit use our own sources of supply of the seed was ensured. In cotton there has been major breakthrough and that will mean great guns for the farmers and for the entire textile industry. With yield nearly four times what our cotton breeders are promising to the farmer’s one can understand the despondency on the farmers face. The present scenario that is coming will be difficult unless we try and row with the current currents. The pun is meant to be. Similarly in rice the order of the day is yields of coarse varieties going to 150 to 170 maunds per acre or 15 to 17 tons per hectare. The challenge is to go headlong. The difficulty is in the scale of things. Discipline vs. indiscipline and the logical aspect is that it must be resolved immediately. The difficulty is in the rogue systems misrepresentation.

Can we then go ahead? Why not? Can’t life be made more meaning full and useful in an equitable manner. China’s great effort has been in the reduction of poverty and in achieving that it has earned the respect of the most cynical of world’s institutions. The one colossal difference between the two countries is in terms of intangibles and the ability to improve these intangibles requires that the utmost attention be paid to the development of character. That building character take more than aping any culture has to be not only understood but also meaningfully followed and the terms of creation and execution of elements is a function that was strongly in our midst at independence time but is sadly missing these days. Is it because the greedy are unable to handle their abilities of selfishness? Pakistan will have to do much better if development efforts have to be commensurate with the wishes of the two countries under discussion. The greatest asset that Pakistan needs to have is the intellect of its people. The received wisdom from elsewhere has to be adapted to our thinking causality. Are we ready?

Can Pak adapt China’s dev strategy?

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