Pakistan Institute of Development Economics

Governance, Economic Policy and Reform in Pakistan Essays in Political Economy
Publication Year : 1993
Author: Abdus Samad

Quite frequently, one reads of how our deteriorating values or even the lack of values are an explanation of our social, political and economic problems. For example, Dr. Eqbal Ahmed wrote in Dawn on September 20, 1992, “At the root of this imbalance between nondemocratic and democratic forces in our political life lies the questions of tradition and values”. One cannot help but agree with this statement. In fact, hardly anyone disagrees with this line of reasoning. Probably, this argument has been used at every pulpit and has been discussed in every teahouse. Religious obscurantists of all shades love this as a prelude to selling their variety of religion. The advantage of this approach, “blame it on our values”, is that it provides both a readymade analysis and an easy answer, “fix your values”. We then wish for values to change. The hope is that, someday a new moral, incorruptible, altruistic and hardworking man will emerge in Pakistan and all problems will, by definition, be solved.