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Maleeha Lodhi: Pakistan’s Cry for Visionary Leaders

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In a thought-provoking article, Maleeha Lodhi, the distinguished Pakistani ambassador to the United States, the United Kingdom, and the United Nations, delves into a pressing question:

Does Pakistan have true leaders, and what does genuine leadership entail? Against the backdrop of a multifaceted crisis that encompasses political, economic, institutional, and constitutional challenges, Maleeha Lodhi explores the dire need for astute leadership in Pakistan.

Unraveling Pakistan’s Polycrisis: Maleeha Lodhi vividly describes the convergence of crises currently afflicting Pakistan. Foremost among them is the economic crisis, which persists despite a recent IMF bailout, highlighting deep-seated structural issues. Anemic growth, low savings and investment, high deficits, limited exports, heavy borrowing, growing indebtedness, and soaring inflation collectively form an economic quagmire. The rising cost of living has already sparked protests and strikes, foreshadowing potential social unrest.

Political and Constitutional Crisis: Pakistan’s political and constitutional crisis is exacerbated by the delay in calling general elections. Ongoing legal battles and arrests of political leaders further intensify the polarized environment. Official controls and coercive actions are shrinking the space for dissent. Meanwhile, the security challenge looms large, with militant violence on the rise. August witnessed a significant surge in militant attacks, marking the highest number in nearly a decade, leading to civilian and security personnel casualties.

Leadership Vacuum in Pakistan: In the face of these unprecedented challenges and amidst economic, political, and institutional disarray, Maleeha Lodhi emphasizes the acute need for capable leadership that comprehends Pakistan’s deeply rooted issues and possesses the determination and competence to address them. Past governments have often lacked a coherent strategy to tackle long-standing problems, leaving the country adrift and lacking public confidence in the future.

The Essence of Leadership: Maleeha Lodhi outlines three fundamental components of effective leadership: crafting a feasible vision and strategy, assembling a proficient team, and inspiring the public to rally behind common goals. In her assessment, Pakistan’s current leaders fall short in each regard. The absence of a clear vision or actionable strategy has given way to power-centric politics and vacuous rhetoric. Team formation, characterized by personal loyalty over competence, has hindered progress. Moreover, leaders have become increasingly disconnected from the needs and aspirations of ordinary citizens.

The Call for Visionary Leadership: Maleeha Lodhi concludes by underscoring the urgency for visionary leadership in Pakistan. True leaders, she emphasizes, are those who transcend immediate circumstances, exhibit courage in charting a new course, and possess the strength of character to stay committed. Leadership, in its purest form, shapes history by elevating society to new heights. Pakistan yearns for leaders with the vision to break free from the shackles of its past and usher in a hopeful future.

In a world marked by complexity and adversity, Maleeha Lodhi’s article serves as a clarion call for leadership that can steer Pakistan toward a brighter and more prosperous tomorrow.

Abu Bakr Alvi
Abu Bakr Alvi
Mr. Abu Bakr Alvi, Senior Journalist Based in Faisalabad

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