Everyone has their own opinion about what is needed for economic growth: RGST, eliminate loadshedding, more FDI, and of course the old favourite, end corruption. But what is too often missing from the discussion is the one essential element that must exist before we will see economic growth: peace.
China suffers from massive corruption, yet has economic growth. India suffers from loadshedding, yet has economic growth. What do these nation’s also have? Relative peace in the land. Yes every nation has sections that face more violence than others. But even the Naxalites only killed about 1,000 people in India last year. Compare that to the almost 5,000 Pakistanis who died from violence during the same period.
I was reminded of this point today when I saw Governor Punjab Latif Khosa on TV talking about Karachi:
We are finding ourselves in a vicious circle where lack of economic opportunity leads to violence, which leads to lack of economic opportunity that leads to violence…
We have to break the cycle. If we’re going to see economic growth not only in Karachi but in all of the nation, we have to stop the violence first.