Looking Beyond Chickens and Buffaloes

Good humor is not for everyone. It’s an art which is not a common commodity in Pakistan. An animated movie called “Donkey King” was released earlier in the year and grown up adults got a wit out of calling the current Prime Minister a donkey. Clearly, as a society, we have set the bar for humor as close to ground level as possible hence laughing at Imran Khan mentioning chickens in his speech comes as no surprise

The moment Imran Khan went a step further to mention specific domestic animals in livestock that could be exported; one could expect cheap humor to be in abundance on social media from those not fond of the government. They surely did not disappoint because out of the whole speech on 100-day mark, chickens and buffaloes were the talk of the town.

It is fair to disagree with the strategy Imran Khan is taking. It is also fair enough to say the top economies in the world have moved away from agriculture but being ignorant of your own ground realities is a fallacy. As of today, Pakistan is still a developing country primarily reliant on agriculture so I’m sorry if that embarrasses you.

Taking a dig at the prime minister is probably the easiest job in Pakistan. You need a phone with internet access and a social media account. That should be enough for you to pass your two cents on the hardest challenges facing the economy but giving better solutions seems to be in nobody’s interest.

Ahsan Iqbal, who was part of the previous government, felt a great “SHOCK” that the prime minister is talking of chickens in his speech. Only if his heart had went through similar shocks when the nation downed in debts for five years under his party, we wouldn’t have had such a crippled economy.

Nobody is saying that chickens will now be steering our economy forward. Pakistan should aspire to be producing some of the most technologically advanced goods and services in the world one day but to get there Pakistan’s economy needs to stand on its own feet before it can start running. Living in deficit and IMF loan ventilator won’t ever give us enough resources to compete with top markets in the world.

As a nation we have developed a particular liking for mega events to take place. We want something big to happen over-night so that we miraculously turn our fortunes. Taking small initiatives are not only under-appreciated but rather criticized heavily as an indictment for cluelessness.

Critics on social media probably don’t have to think twice before having chicken for lunch but those who rely on such simplicities for source of income aren’t represented on social media platforms. Imran Khan was talking to those below poverty lines and for them any source of extra income is a blessing even if those living in cities find it hilarious.

Unfortunately for some, talking about means of income for the poor on TV is uncomfortable. We can be among the top in the world when it comes to corruption, terror and misgovernance but nothing embarrasses us more than the sitting prime minister talking about possible initiatives for the poor.

A nation that is desperately in need of dollar reserves has the audacity to laugh at initiatives that could bring in some extra income. Exporting meat might not solve our entire deficit but every drop counts at this stage. It is a failure for an agricultural Muslim state to not be a dominant exporter in a multi-billion-dollar global industry of halal meat. Can we let our immaturity regarding the topic of buffaloes subside for a moment in pursue of a greater cause?

I am all for taking small steps in the right direction because they are usually sustainable. A combination of small initiatives become a real force to steer you forward as compared to taking a bite larger than what your mouth can chew.

Ironically, the opponents having the biggest chuckle out of this whole scenario are those who thought distributing free laptops to highest performing children would empower the youth. Never mind the fact that youth was sitting jobless once they entered the market due to lack of opportunities, but of course free laptop scheme sure did lay a foundation for skilled labor in free torrent downloads.

Imran Khan did the right thing by not caring about “what people would say” and talk chickens and buffaloes where it could help. The idea for elevating those in poverty through chickens was derived from Bill Gates whose net worth alone is bigger than Pakistan’s total annual exports. Talking about chickens doesn’t sound too funny now, does it?

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2 Comments

  1. faheem says

    nice one… our nation just want ‘shortcuts’ and a miracle overnight … !!!

  2. Hamza Junaid says

    You are right Faheem! Neither is the shortcut available nor is the miracle happening. It would be best if we try to grow sustainably with priorities sorted out right. Thanks for the feedback!

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