A welcome decision by SIFC
Large-scale foreign investment is essential to rid the country of its life-threatening debt burden and put it on the path to sustainable economic recovery.
The previous PDM government and the military leadership established a Special Investment Facilitation Council for this purpose in consultation with each other and under this, friendly countries like Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait have been given assistance in agriculture, minerals, energy and IT etc. invited investments in the fields of which according to the sources the response of these governments was very positive and encouraging. In the light of discussions with friendly countries, the amount of investment coming into the country during the next 5 years is estimated to be very low.
A hundred billion dollars have been invested. Until now, foreign investors in the country had to face severe difficulties and had to get clearance from dozens of institutions, which took months or even years.
However, under the Special Investment Facilitation Council, it was decided to simplify the process to the last degree and complete all the steps for the investors under one roof within a few days and continuous action is being taken in this direction.
The latest information in this regard is that the six-month business visa will be issued within 24 hours to the investors in the country. The federal cabinet has approved the amendment of business, investor and work visa policy for 103 countries yesterday. On the recommendation of the Investment Facilitation Council, Pakistani missions will also be bound to issue business visas for five years within 24 hours.
A one-year short-term investor visa will also be issued within 24 hours. Although this speed of performance of the Investment Council is very satisfactory, the atmosphere of confidence regarding this project will be established only when the flow of foreign investment actually starts, so every effort should be made to make progress in this direction as soon as possible.
As a matter of fact, Pakistan is struggling with the worst economic crisis and as long as we keep trying to solve the problems under our own designed strategy instead of the fixed method, the problems will continue to increase gradually.
The first problem of Pakistan is that our institutions keep clashing with each other again and again. As long as the suspicion of conflict between Parliament, Judiciary and Army will remain, achieving sustainable development will prove to be a distant dream.
A single institution alone cannot play the role of a nectar flow, but the results of such an effort, which have been giving us in the past, will be disappointing again. With the recent change in the judiciary, it can be rightly expected that the mindset of 'good to see' will remain only a bitter chapter of the past and the court will see everyone from one point of view.
However, the new Chief Justice Faiz Isa himself has successfully faced a crisis, a conspiracy, and occupied this position in which a procedure was adopted to such an extent that even his wife was dragged into it. About two and a half months ago, while talking to Justice Qazi Faiz Isa at an event, a mediamen said to him that you were able to escape the conspiracy because you belong to an influential family, he replied. That God's grace is above all things, but if I have been able to thwart the conspiracy because of someone's encouragement and support, it is only because of my wife.
His appointment should not be considered a routine event as he is the first person to hold the post after the failure of the conspiracy and for that reason it should be appreciated that when he took oath as the Chief Justice of Pakistan. So his wife stood with him so that this message would reach those powerful people of the past that despite all the conspiracies, you failed and the constitution of Pakistan was successful.
It was an expression of kindness on his part for his wife. The onus is now on the new Chief Justice to rid the Supreme Court of the concept, which has been badly damaged since July 2017, and ensure that the Supreme Court is the Supreme Court of all. Only the Constitution is binding on the law and it cannot be imagined to 'rewrite' the Constitution because of anyone's wish as in the recent past. Another problem is also licking the economy like a termite and that is the deteriorating situation of terrorism and law and order. The problem of terrorism is undoubtedly the name of the mindset of Afghanistan to continue and intensify the problems of Pakistan. When continuity is mentioned regarding Afghanistan, many "intellectuals" immediately start blaming Pakistan for the situation, saying that Pakistan should not have played its role during the Russian intervention. It is due to Pakistan’s taking sides in the Afghan conflict during the Russian invasion, otherwise Pakistan would not have to face problems from Afghanistan permanently. However, the fact is that Pakistan has been facing a serious situation from Afghanistan since the first day of its independence and the slogan of hostility towards Pakistan has been sold there in such a way that it continues to be sold there. When Afghanistan was establishing a new ministry in the name of "Tribes" in 1948, or in 1949, the Afghan Air Force was dropping pamphlets against Pakistan in Pakistani tribal areas, or during the 1965 war, Afghanistan started armed intervention on behalf of Mohmand Agency.
After the overthrow of Zahir Shah by Sardar Dawood in his first speech on the radio, which had been thwarted by the zealous Pathans of Mohmand.
Despite all these steps taken by Afghanistan, Pakistan tried to normalize its relations with its neighbor. Among these efforts, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Shaheed's move is considered a well-known diplomatic initiative, when in November 1973, he warmly embraced and presented flowers to the Afghan ambassador, Dr. Popal, at a diplomatic event, but was given a retort by Afghanistan. The purpose of repeating all this is that the current situation is not new but there is a mentality in Afghanistan and neither the previous Afghan governments were far from this mentality nor the Afghan Taliban government has any other thoughts. That is why problems are being faced time and again and as long as this mentality persists, cold breezes will not be able to blow from Kabul.
Maulana Fazlur Rahman has offered to play a role in improving Pakistan-Afghanistan relations, if he can do so, he needs to take advantage of this ability immediately, but success in the real sense can be achieved when the government of the Afghan Taliban agrees to.
Published in The Daily National Courier, September, 20 2023