Pakistan Needs Real Austerity Not Symbolic Theatre


Pakistan’s biggest challenge remains the economic crisis. The incoming government’s ‘austerity’ measures – like with every Pakistani government over the last few decades – appears to be more about show than actual substance. Previous prime ministers have put forth such measures – ban import of cheese, travel of cabinet ministers, no salary for President or PM, etc – but this is not going to help Pakistan through its financial quagmire.

An editorial in Dawn calls this “austerity narrative” pushed by the government as “austerity theatre.”

Real austerity “involves hard choices and genuine sacrifice, not selective tokenism. The continued allowance of benefits and the half-measures proposed signal a troubling lack of commitment to governance and fiscal responsibility.”

As the Dawn editorial warned “Symbolic gestures won’t do anymore. There is a need for a fundamental reassessment of priorities and spending, with a laser focus on eliminating waste and directing resources towards sustainable economic recovery. Only then can the nation hope to emerge from its economic plight and embark on a future marked by stability and prosperity.”