The result of democracy

As a trader dealing in different commodities and areas of textile machinery i sometimes am privy to a lot of information that perhaps escapes the general public on a day to day basis.

As far as i can see our economy is in shambles, worse than our political woes are the fears of a total collapse of our textile sector due to it being extremely uncompetitive in the world market because of its high input costs driving up selling prices not acceptable in today’s cut throat markets. Pakistan’s biggest export is textiles…they employ about 65% of our labor force, and they are shutting down.

Secondly the biggest motivator during the Musharraf years our stock exchange has fallen about 4500 points in the last month. Effectively wiping out more than 80% of all medium to small time investors in the market and reducing even the investors portfolios to below 50% of their costs. Right now my portfolio is about 40% of what it was when i bought in about 4 months ago. Recently the market big wigs have gotten together and devised a bail out plan, but that is only artificial shoring up. Until genuine public interest comes back in, this market is totally doomed to the pits where it resides right now. This market is effectively the key motivating factor for the people of Pakistan and specially Karachi as a lot of businesses after faltering profits have deposited their entire savings and capital in this market, the failure of which will lead to mass scale defaults in all business sectors in this country. We must remember that this is a market which has been outperforming others in the region for the last 4 years running. Even markets 8 times its size could not compete with the profitability of the KSE, so what happened here?

Just who can we deem responsible for all this???? The only thing i can point a finger at is “Instability” both political and worldwide.  The current democratic setup as always is falling back on the old “they messed it up and handed down to us” line. We cannot just sit here and digest this as in the “Dictator ship” era things were about 100 times better than they are at the moment. Notice i am not speaking of inflation in petrol or other food items as this is not in anyone’s control aside from giving more subsidies which we really cannot afford in our precarious financial position with our ex chequer.

These are just some of the reasons why i really think and still believe that democracy is not the answer for this nation, as the people who come into leadership via democracy are inept at handling the economic or strategic hurdles in governing this listless state.

Still i cling on to hope, not only because i still love this place daft as that may sound. I think we are at about bottom level in the well of despair, and from here on things can only get better.

  1. Perhaps Pakistan is now going through what the UK textile industry has been suffering for a number of years. We faced ruin because of cheap labour in India and Pakistan, but now the tide has moved further east and China is threatening us all. China, of course, is not a democracy. But I wouldn’t want to live there, or even go to visit. I don’t even buy Chinese produce because of their appalling human rights record (and before you ask – they aren’t the only country on my list!).

    British manufacturing has had to adapt to survive. We can now only compete on high service levels and in niche markets. Even then, it’s tough – particularly in textiles where there are still a large number of unscrupulous businesses paying homeworkers (usually those of Asian origin) a pittance. Those who are fair to their workers stand little chance.

    So it isn’t just Pakistan… it’s the world over. The price of globalisation, methinks.

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