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The State, Industry and Commerce – I

History records the after effects of takeover of the assets of the British East India Company by the British Government in the name of the Crown subsequent to the 1857 War of Independence as a sordid example of the excesses of private enterprise being replaced by the inadequacies of bureaucracy’s lack of enterprise. Economics aside, it took almost a century for the foundations of the British Indian Empire to crumble, the residual of Imperial rule still afflicts South Asia, most particularly in ethnic and religious tension that sweeps the region. Our bureaucracy, no match for its British antecedents, particularly in honesty and sincerity of purpose, adds to its Atlas-like Administrative burden by ham-handed attempts to guide the economy of the nation, concentrating everything in the public sector, at the cost of private enterprise. Under the garb of a misguided sense of socialism that became the fashion of politics of the world in an era of slogan-mongering politicking in the 50s and 60s, more particularly the new emerging nations of the Third World, the State became a major (and dominating) participant in industry and commerce in Pakistan rather than acting to simply regulate the process in a laid-back manner, a sure recipe for disaster manifest in the despondency and hunger afflicting the masses of one of the Superpowers of today, the Soviet Union and its former proteges and client-nations of Eastern Europe. People who talk about the Marxist-Leninist type of socialism should be made to stand in queue in the bread lines of the USSR and the former COMECON countries.

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