News Column

The respectable ‘Begging Bowl’

May 13, 2014

MOHSIN RAZA MALIK - Lahore



The great philosopher Allama Iqbal is considered to be the first to envision Pakistan. The most significant idea of his political philosophy and central theme of his entire poetry was ‘Khudi’ (self-respect). Khudi is generally self-recognition, self-respect and self-pride. Regrettably, we have ignored his teachings and have publicly auctioned our ‘Khudi’ and national pride by resorting to beggary. The well-known ‘begging bowl’ continues in the hands of the new leaders. Every government often publicly vows to break this bowl yet it serves as the last resort in every financial crunch.

This durable in quality, productive by design and easy to use bowl has become the all-time favourite economic tool of our leaders. Besides some ‘generous’ countries, this bowl is equally comfortable with the international bodies like the IMF, World Bank, Aid to Pakistan Consortium, Pakistan Development Fund, Paris Club, London Club, USAID etc. It has also been instrumental in securing 6.6 billion dollar IMF bailout package and the recent 1.5 billion dollar ‘mysterious’ grant from so-called PDF.

Today, phrases like ‘national dignity’, pride and honour seem alien in our country. Other nations have pulled in their belts and looked at their own resources to come up with help while we carry the ‘Begging Bowl’ with pride now. All Asian economic success stories from China to Japan are based on indigenous efforts, self-reliance and effective utilization of human resource. It is now a universally recognized fact that aid and begging will not get anyone anywhere.


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Source: Nation (Pakistan)