It has been seventy-two years now that Pakistan came into being. Where does the country today stands viz a viz the countries liberated during the same period and what social, economic and scientific achievements they have made are hidden to none. Whereas Pakistan is at many cross roads and its economic condition is fast deteriorating with each passing day. It has peculiar economic problems with a very large population, mostly unemployed with no future as the country could not sustain economic growth both due to internal as well as external factors. The major issues that ail the economy today are absence of “good economic governance”, “rule of law” and “accountability”. One of the cabinet ministers has recently announced that the youth should not look up to the government for the jobs which are to be offered by the private sector and is itself in doldrums.

The World Bank while cautioning the economy has linked it with medium-term outlook subject to the country’s ability to ensure political stability and a return to normalcy. Growth for 2019, according to the Bank, is expected at 2.7 percent, as many important economic sectors show relatively weak performance. The slowdown in economic activities is expected to constrain jobs and wage growth in the near-term. The decrease in remittances will also lead to lower contributions to household income. As a result, the pace of poverty reduction is expected to slow down, with poverty measured using the USD 5.50 poverty line projected at 36.1 percent in 2019. On the domestic front, a challenging political environment, delays or reversals in efforts to strengthen revenues, and a slower than expected recovery of some key economic sectors represent important risks. Mitigating these risks will be key to creating private sector jobs and accelerating poverty reduction.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has also forecasted a very bleak economic indicators for Pakistan for fiscal year 2020. The unemployment rate in Pakistan is expected to rise from 6.1 percent to 6.2 percent in 2020, whereas the gross domestic product (GDP) growth is forecasted to continue shrinking to 2.4 percent. On the other hand, the IMF forecasted the inflation rate in Pakistan to surge as high as 13 percent in 2020. In 2024, it may fall to 5 percent on the basis of consumer price index (CPI).

Yet the prime minister tweets on 17 October, 2019 just after the publication of the WB and IMF reports that “it is a great achievement of our economic team to turn around the economy within a year”. Does the prime minister really understand what the IMF and World Bank reports really mean and say and their implications on a common man, now seems to be a big question mark? No doubt that the international organizations are endeavoring for economic amelioration of a large section of mankind, however, merely statistical impressive increase in GDP etc. is not a matter of content. On the whole it is no more than a mere pittance for the poor.

The factors underlying the creation of the country were both economic and religious. The Muslims of Indo-Pakistan were anxious to prevent the economic dominations by Hindus as they feared being reduced to a position of drawers of water and hewers of wood. The Objective Resolution, which at first was the preamble and now a part of the constitution places a constitutional obligation to enable the Muslims of Pakistan to order their life in accordance with injunctions of the Quran and Sunnah, which ensures the wellbeing and economic uplift of its people. For some of the fundamental human rights we have to refer to the last Sermon (Khutbah) of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) delivered on the occasion of his farewell pilgrimage to Makkah. It contains unique principles of equality of human beings and rules of economic and political importance. Islam was instrumental in establishing an egalitarian order based on justice, goodness, righteousness and human dignity for the triumph of virtue and truth leading to man’s salvation and the birth of a great civilization.

A question may be raised, why is it important to talk about Islamic democracy when we have been practicing western type of democracy in the country now for some decades, when the masses, owing in particular to low rate of literacy do not understand the real implications of parliamentary democracy, how it has to be worked, the demand it makes from the voters and the elected representatives of various political parties. Parliamentary democracy of purely western type has, however, not flourished in Pakistan, it has not yet taken roots in its original form and maturity. No serious attempts were made to adopt it to the conditions prevalent in the country and the genesis of the nation. What has the western parliamentary democracy, in which the parliament is the supreme institution for ensuring the implementation of the constitution in letter and spirit given to this nation? The parliament is even unable to conduct the business smoothly and legislate for the betterment of the country. However, when the need arises, unknown impetus makes the fragile political system work and decisively vote in chairman senate’s election and passing of the Anti-money Laundering 2010 (Amendment) Bill 2019.

Not only have individuals, with the exception of a few misused power for their personal ends, but political parties and groups have exercised, in this country during the last few decades, social, economic and political power in complete disregard of all norms of equity, and in violation of rules with impunity with the result that larger sections of the people have suffered and remained materially and otherwise more or less at the stage where they were at the beginning of the history of this country.

Many political experiments have been made in the country including martial laws, unfortunately none of them could give the country a clean, ethical and morally sound and responsible society with sustained economic growth. Time has come to implement Islamic democracy in the country which is an important feature of Islamic ideology, and provides a practical way of life and affords solutions for many ills of the present-day society. If we come back to the Quran, we will find it offers the best social, economic, accountability and political order for the modern times as well. Our society needs to be reconstituted on the basis of Islam and the country needs to be governed with Islamic democracy.