There had been a lot of murmur going on about the yearly high-profile summit of the world’s top 1 percent in Davos, Switzerland, we know as the World Economic Forum (WEF). The topics discussed often left Pakistanis full of hope, whether it was the PM flaunting how little he would be spending on the international visit or inane promises of better days. This weekend the World Economic Forum wrapped up nicely, with the top 1 percent congratulating each other on ‘achievements’ or showing shallow representations of concern for the poor. The climate change the whole world is observing due to our own deeds was subtly swept under the rug with meek promises of ‘doing something about it.’
Prime Minister Imran Khan exchanged some pre-rehearsed and maybe pre-decided, television ready pleasantries with United States President Donald Trump and executives of major multinational companies (MNCs) such as YouTube and Facebook. The set goal was to portray Pakistan as a favorable spot worthy of investments by big businesses.
While this gigantic PR exercise was taking place, there was trouble in paradise back home in Islamabad between the Chinese and US diplomats. As the story goes, the dispute was regarding CPEC. USA State Department representative Alice Wells issued a stark warning that Chinese aid would not land Pakistan among the top dogs or lead to a more prosperous future, instead, it would only make Pakistan dependent on a ship headed for despair island.
The warning was laughable to many Pakistanis since it was a sort of practical joke that American officials were the ones warning Pakistan about the perils of accepting conditional aid from a superpower. It was clear no one really cared the slightest bit if Pakistan was developing or barely surviving since it resembled just two brands fighting over a customer. The irony wasn’t lost on anyone with a minor understanding of Pakistan’s political economy. Pakistan has been on the Washington Aid payroll since at least 1954 and with the business tycoon, Trump had once again offered Pakistan some ‘generous’ military aid. Pakistan never would have come close to the national security state it is today if it weren’t for this generous patronage. At this point, it barely matters if the sender of the aid is China or America.
As Pakistan smugly looks at the ‘rich’ go for each other’s throats, Beijing defends itself with them elucidating how they are enhancing the ‘development’ agenda in Pakistan, revolving around better roads, new power plants and industrial parks which we are yet to reap the benefits of. As any good marketing strategy goes, China states how their money, will catapult Pakistan in a new age of productivity, growth, and happiness, which wasn’t possible with Western aid.
Beijing is as persuaded by its key worries as Washington, independent of the critical contrasts in types of help that either superpower offers Pakistan. The truth will surface eventually whether China’s advantage creates subjectively unmistakable results for Pakistan’s working individuals and ethnic peripheries than that of America, the IMF, World Bank or other Western benefactors, however, it is often overlooked that China isn’t giving us a complimentary gift.
What needs to be underlined with red ink here, whether it is the Davos guys, or the worldwide political economy our major stance concerning producing vital rents from foreign benefactors has remained the ‘same old, same old.’
It hardly ever matters whether the one on the giving end is the US, China, IMF, Saudi Arabia, Qatar or some other rich nation/element, because financial basic leadership is directed by the interests of the establishment rather than the welfare of our 220 million individuals. For sure, this is the narrative of many ‘immature’ nations, including those, similar to us, that are plentifully supplied with normal assets and young populaces that could frame the premise of moderately increasingly independent, evenhanded and naturally economical models of improvement.
Since the legendary account of ‘globalization’ was mainstreamed after the conclusion of the Cold War, some 30 years ago, monetary ‘specialists’ have drilled it into our brains that ‘one-size-fits-all’ rationale of development and advancement dependent on opening up the economy to worldwide account, taking out all administrative controls on the abuse of modest workand creating a captive public that borrows money from financial institutions to fund conspicuous consumption.
In the scholarly community and inside basic news-casting, it is presently basic information that this model of ‘advancement’ has exacerbated imbalance, pushed the planet to the skirt of atmosphere breakdown, and made both regionally limited and the worldwide economies progressively unpredictable.
However, the obvious issue at hand stays anonymous at social occasions like Davos, similarly just like the case in Pakistani officialdom. The lease a-state rationale that has guided our considering ‘advancement’ and those of other truly imperialized zones of the entrepreneur world-framework will not leave. For what reason would it? The individuals who have profited by this rationale don’t need it to change.
So from one viewpoint, the talk about globalization and advancement perseveres when the worldwide decision class combines, while on the other, similar pioneers return home and regurgitate contemptuous political mottos that make a parallel between a legendary unitary country and its famous foes. As time passes, class benefit inside social orders and over the globe exacerbates, planetary pulverization turns out to be increasingly fast approaching, wars and viciousness multiply, and right around eight billion individuals become perpetually distanced, from their own selves and each other.
Chinese and US exchange aside, guarantees of YouTube and Facebook interest in Pakistan in any case, we in Pakistan and a significant part of the world are being forcibly fed the regular old, stale plans for ‘improvement’ that have been on tap for a considerable length of time. The main thing that possesses changed is that the energy for scholarly and political protection from lease a-state approaches is running out.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of THE ACE NEWS. Assumptions made in the analysis are not reflective of the position of any entity other than the author.
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17 November, 2019