“.. I say don’t pay taxes to this state… This state has no moral authority… They rob the people… suck the blood of common people & sell out the wine of that blood… I hardly have any tolerance left in me, I might knock their heads… These Mir Jaffars (Traitors) have handed over the country to IMF…”
These words are not from some Taliban leader or from any state separatists group leader, these words belong to one of the top economists of Pakistan. Dr. Kaiser Bengali, speaking at a programme regarding the current economic situation and it impacts on common people organized by PILER & SZABIST at Arts Council of Pakistan, Karachi on Thursday 9th of May.
He is not an ordinary economist, he is a guy who had been hired by different governments & sacked numerous times for not following orders. Has over 35 research publications in national and international journals and author/editor of 8 books on subjects ranging from unemployment, inequality, and poverty to education, water, gender, and regional development.
While speaking at the seminar, Dr. Bengali accused the current government of practically handing over a country to New East India Company “World Bank & IMF”.
“We currently have a finance minister and governor State Bank who have come from abroad. Since 1993, we have had these ‘fly in, fly out’ consultants [Moin Qureshi, Shaukat Aziz, Hafeez Sheikh, etc]. The technocrats that don’t have their roots in the people are there for the money.”
Our political governments don’t have a say in foreign policy, and now they have very little say in the economy. The economy has been taken over by the IMF and the World Bank. In the past, Hafeez Sheikh didn’t even pick chief minister Qaim Ali Shah’s phone. Today IMF is dealing with the IMF to decide about Pakistan’s fate [qismat].
Dr. Bengali who himself a former student leader argued trade union leaders & local politicians to come on streets & protests or the dollar that will rise up to 200 Rupees at the end of this year & up to 250 Rupees in one year till now.
“…Things won’t change until we come out in the streets and raise our voices. Closed-door conversations wouldn’t fetch anything… I will lead the protests if 10 Thousand traders will agree to come out..”
Responding to a question regarding revolution:
“… the world has changed, there is no going to be an IQALAB (Revolution), it comes only in closed in societies… Industrialization can break the feudal power & have done it to some extent…”
Referring to his successful experiment of Public-Private partnership in Sindh where they handed over management of the residential school in Gadap town to an NGO, he said:
“… There is an alternative to complete privatization… without selling assets you can privatize management… it is completely possible…”
While responding to a question regarding CPEC he replied:
“…It is not a game changer, it is game over… at first, we have to fight with one East India Company “World Bank” which is already ruining the country than we have to worry about the another East India Company in making (referring to Chinese investment).”