The Failure of ‘Practical’ Economic Policy

Posted on June 10, 2009
Filed Under >Nadeem Ul Haque, Economy & Development
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Nadeem Ul Haque

(Editor’s Note: This is the full text of a speech delivered by Dr. Nadeem Ul Haque, former head of the Pakistan Institute of Development Economists (PIDE) at a recent pre-budget seminar organized in Lahore by The Nation. It is worth reading in full – not only for what it says about economic decision-making in Pakistan, but about our more general apathy for ideas, learning and knowledge.)

I realize that I am the odd one out—the impractical theoretical economist who should be kept away from policy.  Ever since Ghulam Ishaq Khan in the eighties – no even M M Ahmed in the sixties – and earlier there has been a refrain in this country that we do not need theory or learning we only need practice and practical ideas.  So all economists especially those who had any serious learning were never to be allowed near policy.  All thinkers were exiled.  Dr. Abdus Salam being a prime example.

Serious economists could be asked about policy half in jest when you run into them. But never take them seriously and never let them near serious decision-making. They could be invited to a committee to air their views for few minutes but only for practical men to wisely nod at how airy fairy these people of books are.

Shaukat Aziz our former PM, the most practical man, a man who looked down upon education had several pejorative names for people who read and think —“no action, talk only” NATO. Yes I admit to being NATO but I do wish Shaukat Aziz were here today to tell us how well practical men have done. Practical men have run his country for 60 years.  Should we conclude that practical men have failed that practical policies have failed that policies not based on serious thinking and research have failed!

Ladies and gentlemen I urge you to think of the achievements of practical men.

So what is practical policy that practical men preach? Practical policy is keeping the status quo of rent-seeking, injustice and a failed state intact.  Practical policy is no reform of decayed, politicized and corrupt systems. Practical policy is preserving a culture of no domestic thinking, domestic debate or even any local reading! Practical policy is going around the world shamelessly with a begging bowl only to avoid domestic reform and thinking. Practical policy is slavishly following donor plans and praying for good weather.

It is thanks to practical thinking that we are today at the bottom of all international lists. The failed state index, competitiveness indicators TI’s corruption, governance indicators, cost of doing business indicators all rank us at the lowest levels.

Yet practical men do not even allow a serious economist room in the entire economic establishment from the Planning commission to the ministry of commerce and with everything else included. Even when the failed state index puts us in the lowest category, practical men tell us that civil service reform is not necessary. Even when the Corruption index says that we have a serious problem, practical men say there is no reason to review our governance. Even when the property rights index tells us that property rights are not enforced in Pakistan, our practical men say it is too early for looking into that issue!

The refrain of practical men is that we are too poor to change and think. Sorry being impractical and NATO, I refuse to accept it. History show that audacious nations who have refused to accept such practical ideas have progressed. Examples of Singapore, Malaysia, Korea, Mauritius come to mind. In my impractical view our poverty is in ideas we are too poor in terms of our thinking, our vision our dreams.

But it is not the fault of practical men alone. Ladies and Gentlemen of the media you too love practical announcements. You side with them in this notion of thinkers being useless and practicality being non thinking. You do not even question the record of practical men. You accept their titles and officialdom as oracles of learning too easily. You do not challenge government appointments and policy announcements. You give a proud headline when the government goes begging instead of reform. You do not challenge them to regard reform and borrowing as possible alternatives.

It is budget time and we will all get wildly excited about economic policy. We will have wild expenditure and tax suggestions. Newspapers are already full of them and most of these are self serving ideas that lobbies have put forward. Today we will talk only of sectors and numbers as if we have a stable cohesive state devoid of a civil war, rent-seeking and misgovernance.

Being impractical for me it is time to review where we are going.  I must say that I am not very optimistic. But it is not just me. Ordinary Pakistanis – taxi drivers, waiters, traders etc – that I have run into in DC, London, Dubai, and Lahore now all express deep despondency in our country. There is now a collective sense of shame in our county and its achievements.

So let me make a prediction that the time for practicality is over. As a NATO and totally impractical, let me make say that it is the practical policies of our practical men that have made us miss so many opportunities to be a middle income country. If only reform had happened in the eighties when we had a remittance boom and then the Afghan War aid inflow? If only reform had happened after 9/11! If only we had opened the economy and the market as my alterego Dr Abdus Samad used to argue in the 80s? If Only we had built a serious governance system in the 90s as Dr. Samad used to write.

Let me also say that the failed policy of practical men have brought us to this pass of Talibalization and a country that is falling apart. The current system of apartheid where the poor have no opportunity and the rich line their pockets through rent-seeking is akin to the pre-revolutionary situations that we have seen all the way down from the French revolution to today. I remember when people talked of rising inequality and missed opportunities our practical Prime Minister who now refuses to live at home used to remind us of the rising stock market and full hotels reminiscent or Marie Antoinette. This apartheid system has to go either through reform or through revolution. That is the choice that we have in front of us. Practical men cannot hold the status quo for long and perhaps the time has come to change the status quo.

So the continuation of the failed policies of practical men will not lead us out of our problems but perhaps to deeper disasters. What should we do then? My advice is dream a little, be a little audacious in our thinking—perhaps even be a little NATO like me.

All the way from Adam Smith to now Robert Lucas, famous economists all impractical men of research and learning have been will attempting to understand the growth process. Tomes have been produced and there is much we can learn from these. Perhaps we should read some of these. But then practical men tell me proudly that they do not read. For policy and decisions all you need is Meetings! Perhaps we need to review our process of decision-making too.

Let me tell you the upshot of this research. For example, Florida has argued that growth happens in cities that subscribe to the 3 Ts—Tolerance, Talent and Technology.  Bernstein says that historically societies that have grown have developed systems for strong property rights, a respect for learning, and connectivity. Easterly and many others have argued vehemently that aid-dependent countries do not make it.

What do we learn from this that economics is not about money, sector subsidies and actions, budgets or stray numbers that people love to quote!

If we are to grow and eradicate poverty, we need modernity the three Ts – technology, tolerance and talent! For modernity you need modern cities and city centers? Growing cities are cohesive not split into cantonments and other parts. Growing cities are autonomous and professionally managed with their own political institutions. Growing cities are tolerant and modern full of markets and commerce. How do we develop city centers of commerce and modernity when are city centers are marked for housing governors and bureaucracy and subsidized polo grounds an elite clubs. Of course it is impractical to attack privilege!  Without attacking privilege how can talent be nurtured and meritocracy established.

Lip service is paid to governance. Yes we need to improve our governance but how? Governance is not an empty word.  Better governance means better property rights, markets and rights managed by a professional and thinking civil service. No longer will a practical civil service with perks and rentseeking do in this modern era. A professional civil service cannot happen with the hangover of the colonial administration that lives on perks, transfers and power.  Useless agencies like Passco, Pak Text Book Board, Book Foundation and many others need to be closed down before we ask for higher taxation. If we tax more without changing government we will merely fuel inefficiency.

All thinkers talk of knowledge being a driver of growth. This is not just another Higher Education Commission (HEC). The creation of knowledge is not just land and buildings. I wish it were for we have more university land than most countries. We need thinking, research and a reading culture. Out universities cannot be managed as they currently are by a bureaucracy. They need to be returned to thinkers and dreamers.

Policymaking must learn to respect domestic thinking use it and interact with it. We need think tanks. It dismays me to say that Lahore has no think tank. What a shame for city which was the home of Allama Iqbal and many other thinkers.

Easterly has documented how large donor plans and loans have not worked calling for more local experimentation, research and thinking. For 5 years I have been writing papers arguing that our growth strategy is wrong in that we are stifling domestic commerce. One would think our policy maker would have noticed such an attack on policy and discussed it perhaps even learnt form research. But then practical men can ridicule impractical men.  And practical men will again say that service sector growth was bad.

But the government must listen to think tanks, engage them seriously. At the Pakistan Institute of Development Economists (PIDE) I argued for the assessment of our policies for entrepreneurship claiming that we have no entrepreneurs.  What is the government view on this impractical idea! But sorry practical men make policy in meetings without reading.

Ladies and gentlemen the state of the union in Pakistan is in despair. We are all somber with terrible anticipations. For me it is time for reflection and thinking. Practical policies and practical men have failed! Let us accept it and like the rest of the world accept learning and research as a guide. Reform should be our buzzword for the next 20 years. You people of the media must incentivize our practical men to think of reform. You must give more space to reform and reform thinking and research. You must ask for more thinking centers. ‘Business as usual’ no matter how practical is no longer acceptable.

If it is ‘business as usual’ – ‘no reform and only begging’ –than my impractical prediction is that 50 years from now we will be where we are. Let the practical men prove me wrong. But bear in mind what practical policies have delivered over the last 60 years.

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14 responses to “The Failure of ‘Practical’ Economic Policy”

  1. Watan Aziz says:

    @Shaukat Masood Zafar

    Thank you for reflecting on the rich thieves of a poor nation.

    As I have said before, here, here and here (hear ye, hear ye) anyone who wants to call Pakistan a failed state has no idea on the spoils of it’s rich.

    It is the system that needs fixing, not the people.

    And btw, this is also a summary of the “gitter – mitter” crowd. Anyone wants still wants to blame the uneducated of Pakistan for the ills of Pakistan?

    P. S. Who says there are no good posts on the economy of Pakistan?

  2. Shaukat Masood Zafar says:

    BY: Shaukat Masood Zafar
    Email Address: smzafar101@gmail.com
    RESTRUCTURING PUBLIC ENTITIES IN PAKISTAN—ESTABLISH AN APPOINTMENT COMMISSION FIRST.
    In Pakistan there are 255 Federal public enterprises covering the major economic sectors including banking and finance, industry, trade, communications, water, power, oil and gas, mining, urban and regional development, and insurance. There are 3 departmental undertakings, 43 public corporations, 27 autonomous bodies and 182 companies/projects where the government has majority ownership. Public corporations are established under special legislation of the Federal and Provincial Governments or under the Companies Act 1913/Companies Ordinance 1984.
    The scope of the lucrative six-figure pay package for top management positions (MP), being raised up to around Rupees one million per month, basically introduced to attract experts of international standing from the private sector to lead these public sector enterprises in Pakistan, has been contentiously widened to feed well even the serving and retired political affiliated government officials/ political figures, who otherwise are not eligible to draw this huge salary. The MP scales are being offered to more and more persons with every passing day but without following the spirit of the scheme, and the MP scales are today available to even ordinary serving and retired officers. Many of such lucky souls are even working in the ministries, divisions and the attached departments.
    The matter does not end here with the appointment of CEOs without following mandatory selection procedures and grant of MP scale to the non deserving Chief Executives of public sector enterprises. Except for the appointment of the chief executives, the officers and other employees are appointed by or on behalf of those Chief Executives. In normal course all appointments must be publicized and the Department must be able to demonstrate that successful candidates met the specified criteria for the role and that they were appointed on merit. Whether or not they are representative of particular interest groups or being considered for appointment as individuals, candidates must be committed to achieving the public body’s objectives and to working within the policy and resources framework set by that organization. On the contrary, since the “rebirth of democracy” from December 1988 to October 1999 and onward the public sector corporations have become playthings in the hands of successive grubby and grabby politicians and in the guise of “professional” and “technical” areas, personnel are recruited in abundance on permanent/ contract basis, through re-employment of retired government and military officers without any advertisement in the press/ media purely on political considerations. Public appointments require the highest standards of propriety, involving impartiality, integrity and objectivity, in relation to the stewardship of public funds and the oversight and management of all related activities. The recruitment and appointment process reflects the commitment to the organization’s values and provides a framework to guide the transparent and competence-based processes. Within this parameter, every effort should be made to encourage diversity and ensure the best people are appointed to serve as the organization’s directors/ officers. To demonstrate commitment to transparency and accountability, this recruitment and appointment process should be made available to the public on the organization’s website. The Chief Executive of the organization should strictly follow the principals of competency, merit, consistency, transparency and openness, and diversity. Instead of bringing transparency and overhauling the corruption-hit and badly mismanaged loss making eight leading public sector enterprises latest by Sept 1, 2010, the government attempted to put at stake the future of Oil and Gas Development Corporation Limited (OGDCL) also, rated as one of the best bets by the foreign investors, by influencing the OGDCL management like other government agencies for political appointments in addition to handing it over to one inexperienced Adnan A Khawaja as head of the Corporation. It is now an open secret that state-owned companies tend to over-staff workers, pay high wages, and provide generous benefits particularly in the PPP regimes which has devastated, mismanaged, diminished them in value and stuffed them with incompetent crony crooks, are at the verge of collapse today. The Government neglected its commitment made early this year to restructure Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Pakistan Railways, Pakistan Steel Mills Corporation, Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco), Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP), Pakistan Agriculture Services and Storage Corporation, Utility Stores Corporation (USC) and the National Highway Authority (NHA), which instead of earning profits for the government are eating up hundreds of billions of rupees from public exchequer because of massive corruption and mismanagement. Take the example of PIA where unnecessary appointments were made and at present there are 440 plus employees per plane, compared to an international average of some 150 per plane. Some 1,294 nonqualified employees dismissed during PML(N) regime were reinstated by the courts (despite resistance by PIA) till 2006; the President’s “Sacked Employees (Reinstatement) Ordinance, 2009” has brought back a further 2,994. Today, PIA is facing the worst crises of its history. According to a recent report, its total accumulative losses have reached to Rs 83.3 billion, whereas the amount of net losses is Rs 79.03 billion. This abhorrent condition of PIA is primarily because of two factors. First; the financial and administrative mismanagement of the airline at all level. The second factor include; the political appointment of its employees, while bypassing the merit and requisite minimum needed expertise and available number of posts. This is reinforced by over employment with lavish salaries and perks and privileges without any yield. Look into the affairs of Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC), at time considered as a jewel in the crown of Pakistan, having its policies over the decades an example of how even a 64 per cent government-owned public utility can benefit from excellent, efficient and independent management. During the second regime of PPP (1994-97), Dr Faizullah Abbasi was foisted upon SSGC as deputy Managing Director, with the primary task of appointing 4,257 superfluous and incompetent employees (thus doubling company strength) without following mandatory selection procedures. Once the prime transporter of cargo and passengers alike – Pakistan Railway is in dire straits and is confronted with losses worth billions of rupees mainly due to mismanagement, corruption, highly controversial appointments on lucrative positions, and overstaffing in the organisation. Pakistan Railways is confronted with grave crises, including the crunch in the form of the huge deficit of Rs 23 billion annually, is at the verge of collapse. EOBI has suffered a loss of Rs 11.3 billion due to investment in stock market. EOBI to date has invested Rs 42 billion in stock market and due to slump in the market value of shares dropped from Rs 42.33 billion to Rs 31 billion. It has also indulged itself in transactions of private property without having any lawful authority there are chances that some body could pressurize it to invest in assets that could result in further losses. It has also appointed over 200 people to the blue eyed boys of high and mighty of present regime by killing the merit. There are serious allegations of thousands of backdoor appointments in ZTBL made while defrauding the declared system of recruitment and in complete violation of the merit. The ZTBL is already badly reputed for having tainted past record of appointments. the President ZTBL has also employed in senior executive cadres by offering six figure lucrative salary packages his nears and dears dismissed employees of other institutions like Mr. Ashfaq Qureshi, Aurangzeb Mohsin Khan, some inefficient people like Sanaullah, some retired military officers, some people from his own sugar mills, in addition to many others who have no vision, skills, and experience relating to developmental banking operations. Miss Roohi, recently appointed as COO is said to be cancer patient and she has been appointed just to meet her expenditure on expensive medication. It is against the rules as everybody appointed in the bank is bound to produce a certificate of good health at the time of joining. This cluster of incapable, inexperienced, and unqualified, appointees have plundered hundreds of millions rupees in the name of high salary packages, perks, TA/DAs, and facilities and due to lack of experience they have pushed this best institution towards bankruptcy. Instead of putting in good governance, the performance of this management is restrained for the last two years only upto plundering Bank’s funds whenever and wherever possible, transferring the staff not “cooperating” with the management to far flung areas, huge appointments of MCOs and other staff purely on political considerations, protecting highly corrupt and sacking the innocent employees, frequent transfers/postings of zonal chiefs for their personal gains, making promotions of Vice President and above through pick and choose, frequent adjustment lending to show high performance in recovery rating, converting disbursement of loan in cash into kind just for their personal gains, crop insurance scam, transfer of the people seeking justice from any court of law to far flung unattractive areas, and such like numerous other “achievements”. The result is that the Zarai Taraqiati Bank, a profitable, self-sustaining and holding large assets, is today on the brink of collapse because of mismanagement, nepotism, and corrupt practices by political appointees of the present regime. There are several other institutions who are breathing their last due to the same reasons. The Prime Minister has now intended to restructure eight loss sustaining public entities in near future.

    Ideal situation is that the public corporations whose risk assets ratio has exceeded its total assets ratio and qualify for liquidation should be privatized instantly but in a very transparent manner. In case of the public sector enterprises making profit and giving the government return higher than the rate at which it is borrowing from the market, the privatization of profitable enterprises would have an adverse impact on the budget. Privatization of loss sustaining public entities is the logical solution which obviously has several benefits such as reduce Government bureaucracy, reduce state monopolies and ensure level playing fields, reduce bad management, correct defective capital and financial structures, increase competitiveness, increase the quality of goods and services, reduce corruption and control by Government, increase staff quality and supervision, improve market analysis, free up Government funds for more pressing problems, create employment, re-invigorate the local economy, expand local businesses, attract direct foreign investments, expand capital markets, redistribute wealth, improve technological transfer, enhance trade control regulations etc. But there is general consensus among masses that privatization exercise in Pakistan is riddled with high level corruption. The capitalists and IMF and World Bank are also using the privatization as a political weapon. It is not just an economic attack but a political attack as well from said groups. Privatization of only dynamic and profit earning public entities has stopped the growth of social, political and class based consciousness and has reduced the social capital by increasing the private capital and big cartels ultimately leading to unnatural high escalation in prices. The forms of corruption are also now ever dynamic and all conquering. Concealment of assets of the firms put in privatization by distorting their balance sheet figures is very common here. The core investors “selected” by the privatization commission are at times suddenly become incapable of paying for firms after being certified as technically and financially sound. The full concept of privatization involves deregulation of public sector monopolies, involvement of private enterprises, then encouraging free competition within a regulated framework to improve quality and quantity of services at reduced prices, which has been never ensured by the privatization commission. The people of Pakistan have generally expressed their reservations about the level of transparency in the entire exercise of privatization. The general perception that privatization result is higher level of efficiency is not true in case of Pakistan. Privatization has caused social development slow down. Two major objectives of privatization in Pakistan; debt-servicing and poverty alleviation have not been achieved. Corruption has remained the omnipresent obstacle that has eroded the very essence of the exercise. There has been massive corruption during privatization process in Pakistan from 1985 onward. It is very clear that the privatization process has not been proved as a key to economic development as was claimed by the different governments, but instead a total disaster for the economy of Pakistan. Despite privatization in Pakistan has been engulfed with complex problems. These problems include private firms concentrate on profit making to the detriment of essential public service, private firms render more expensive services, private firms fail to invest in infrastructure, reduction of public workforce and experience, private companies are interested in short term benefits, privatization replaces state monopolies with private monopolies, private firms find it very difficult to render public services such as water, public health and transportation services, the exercise usually creates wealth for the rich while making the poor poorer, it reduces public accountability, it is subject to abuse by the regulators and private enterprises, private firms encounter problems of new government regulations, private companies replace state corruption with private corruption etc. There are examples of KESC, PTCL, Electric Supply Companies where the people are paying the cost of privatization in shape of inflated bills, poor customer services, and retrenchment of skilled staff. The direct foreign investment in profitable public units is not likely to be beneficial for the economy in this sense also that as against the benefit of an initial purchase price; one has to calculate the recurring remittance of profit in foreign exchange for years and decades to come.

    Looking at the privatization of financial institutions alone, two things are quite evident; firstly the highly profitable organization only were privatized on throwaway price and secondly a record looting of Rs700 billion ($10.76 billion) took place. When 51 per cent of Habib Bank Limited (HBL) shares were sold to the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development in December 2004 for only Rs22 billion, its total assets were worth more than Rs570 billion. (HBL had 1437 branches and another 40 in 26 countries; the company owned the branch buildings as well.) Another large bank, United Bank Limited (UBL), was sold for only Rs13 billion. The sale of these banks at throwaway prices was considered the largest financial scandal in the history of Pakistan. The sale of UBL to Abu Dhabi and Best Way Group is altogether inexplicable. First GOP poured Rs30 billion into UBL to cover its nonperformance loans and make it privatizable. After pouring such a huge amount of Pakistani tax payers money it has been sold to foreigners for Rs12.35 billion. In the first bidding Mian Mansha was shown to be the highest bidder but bidding was held again and Abu Dhabi and Best Way Group were on the top in the second round. Government of Pakistan lost Rs17.65 billion in its privatization exercise. GOP has not explained as to why Rs30 billion of tax payer’s money was poured in UBL for privatization and what was the hurry in handing over this entity just a week before the national elections. Amounted to Rs34.7 billion but if we deduct Rs30 billion poured in UBL Then the net receipts are only Rs4.7 billion. Similarly Kot Adu was major privatization during Benazir’s second term as Prime Minister. Kot Adu is WAPDA’s biggest generating unit with the following capacity combined cycle capacity till 1997 was 1684 MW. There was no need to privatize an already existing big power unit which was running efficiently. Its units were either gas turbine or combined cycles which can use either oil or gas. The government decided to sell 26% stake in it at a price of US$215 million. Subsequently 10% shares were sold for US$76 million so the government realized only US$291 million from the sale of 36% shares. The most interesting feature of this privatization was that the government handed over the management of the unit to minority shareholders, which perhaps has never been done in the corporate history of the world. These are few examples of plundering the country while there are numerous others. The money usurped from this privatization process was sufficient enough to discharge the entire debt liability of the country.

    Transparent privatization of loss sustaining public corporations, firms, companies and services is the most viable economic solution. However, it seems that public sector is going to remain in Pakistan for a pretty long time despite efforts of privatization. Hence the need of some innovation in respect of corporate governance is absolutely necessary. The essential services providing entities must remain in state control. However we all have seen that in Pakistan, the supremacy of the CEOs in public sector entities has brought in many problems of recklessness and lack of transparency giving rise to financial crashes in public sector departments which needs to be properly regulated. Public appointments require the highest standards of propriety, involving impartiality, integrity and objectivity, in relation to the stewardship of public funds and the oversight and management of all related activities. The appointment process provides a clear signal to the public about an institution’s independence. Before entering into the process of restructuring of public entities, to properly regulate the appointments process of CEOs and board members of these entities, an Independent Appointments Commission, delegated with statutory responsibility for making these appointments, be established to provide an independent and transparent appointment process for public appointments, based on the principle of selection on merit. Members of the commission having honest and unquestionable track record should be granted guaranteed, fixed term appointments with duration of at least five years. Shorter term can hamper the effectiveness of the Commission. Powers of dismissal are closely related to the independence of a national institution. To avoid compromising independence, the founding legislation should specify, in as much detail as possible, the circumstances under which a member may be dismissed. These circumstances should relate to ascertainable wrong doing of a serious nature. Commission members should not be removed except for reasons specified in the enabling law. These reasons, and the method of removal, should for example parallel those applicable to members of the judiciary. Members of the Commission should be required to be politically impartial in their role, they will declare any party political activity they undertake whilst serving on the Commission. Such activity will be made public. Chief Executive Officers of the public entities and Members of the boards of these entities may be selected by the Commission in an open and transparent manner by considering the criteria of education, interest, diversity of background and professions, relevant experience and expertise, and geographic balance, and strictly keeping in view the values of fairness, transparency, access, and representativeness, for the term and for the compensation, if any, and in the manner as is prescribed by the law. When a vacancy exists either of CEO of any entity or on any board the Commission should make recommendation within 30 days. The commission may recommend two or three people for each open position and the Prime Minister should choose one from the list submitted to him by the Commission and appoint him on the vacancy. These public entities would be further strengthened if two board systems like Germany are introduced. The Board of Directors of any entity may be subordinate to a Board of Supervisors which would bring broader risk management, more transparency and accountability. Bad governance is in fact the root cause of evil within our society. There needs to be checks and balances and consensus decision making in these entities. Governance issues include size and composition of their Board of Directors, general approach to consensus building of the board and decision-making practices. Good governance begins and ends with the Board. Good corporate governance and transparency are fundamental to achieving the highest standards goals. It will be advisable if new CEOs and powerful Boards of Directors comprising of all the stakeholders are appointed in all the entities before entering into the process of restructuring. Any attempt of restructuring these public entities made without establishment of an independent Appointments Commission and then new CEOs and Boards is not likely to bring any positive change.

    Shaukat Masood Zafar,
    House No.1060, Street No.95, Sector I-10/1,
    Islamabad. Phone. 051-4444284, 0333-5499592.

  3. BASHEER ATTA says:

    Very good speech and clear thinking.

    Lets do what is right, practical or not!

  4. zia m says:

    Doctrinal features of religion inhibit scientific,social and economic development.We have knowledge deficit,some of the contributing factors are as follows.

    Limitation of labor force caused by lack of participation of women.
    Undue emphasis on religion in education.
    Denial of evolution.
    Time devoted to daily religous observance.
    Prohibition on payment of interest.
    Conflict between secular and sharia law.
    The doctrine of bidah,or avertion to innovation.

    All these factors inhibit social and economic progress.
    Peace

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