Launching his campaign for the general elections 2018 from Mianwali on 24th June 2018, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman, Imran Khan, accused the previous Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government of bankrupting the country during its five-year stint.
“There is no money left to run the country while debt is piling up and adding insult to injury,” he said. “Pakistan’s foreign loans have surged up from Rs13,000 billion to Rs27,000bn during 2013-2018.”
There is no doubt that Pakistan’s economy is drowning in debt. However, its blame cannot be solely put on the last PML-N government. Since the inception of Pakistan, every successive regime, whether political or military, has contributed to increasing debt. The reason is that although Pakistan was created in the name of Islam, capitalism has been implemented. Pakistan is not an exception as every capitalist country faces the same problem. Indeed, those countries that are most indebted are amongst the biggest economies. The G-7 countries are the world’s biggest and richest economies but at the same time, they are amongst the most indebted as well. Japan, Italy, US, Canada, France, Britain and Germany have 234.7, 132.5, 105.4, 98.8, 96.5, 92.9, 68% Debt to GDP ratio respectively. Pakistan’s debt to GDP ratio is almost 70%.
In the capitalist economy, debt increases as it deprives the public and state of revenues. It places energy and mineral resources, which are engines of creating huge wealth, under private ownership even though Islam has mandated these as public property.
Also, the capitalist company structures, joint stock and share companies allow private owners to gather huge capital in order to run industries that are capital-intensive which also generate huge wealth, such as telecommunications, heavy industries, railways, aviation and shipping. So, in capitalism, the public and state are deprived of huge revenues, with the state then resorting to loans and heavy taxation.
Islam’s economic system alone will ensure escape from the debt trap. Islam declared oil, gas and mineral resources as public property which the state supervises on behalf of the people. Islam’s unique company structure laws do not allow the joint stock share company, so the state dominates capital-intensive projects. Thus, Islam will ensure huge resources for public and state spending. Allah (ﷻ) said,
وَمَنْ أَعْرَضَ عَن ذِكْرِى فَإِنَّ لَهُ مَعِيشَةً ضَنكاً
“But whosoever turns away from My Reminder (Qur’an) verily, for him is a life of hardship.” [Taha: 124]
Thus, any politician that claims he will end the debt trap, yet insists on implementing the current capitalist system, is making a false claim. The Muslims must account such politicians and insist that they reject the current kufr system. And they must insist that they work actively for the re-establishment of the Khilafah (Caliphate) on the Method of Prophethood. Allah (ﷻ) said,
وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ أَقَامُواْ ٱلتَّوْرَاةَ وَٱلإِنْجِيلَ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيهِمْ مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ لأَكَلُواْ مِن فَوْقِهِمْ وَمِن تَحْتِ أَرْجُلِهِم
“And if only they had acted according to the Taurat (Torah), the Injeel (Gospel), and what has (now) been sent down to them from their Lord (the Qur’an), they would surely have gotten provision from above them and from underneath their feet.” [Al-Maidah: 66]
Written by Central Contact Committee Hizb ut-Tahrir Wilayah Pakistan