Flagship Project of Social Protection Resource Centre (SPRC) Islamabad
Egalitarian Pakistan 2047
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of our Constitution, which adopts the creation of an egalitarian society in Pakistan as a primary objective, Social Protection Resource Centre, Islamabad, carried out a survey from senior opinion leaders on the state of egalitarianism in Pakistan. The results reveal the disturbing consensus that Pakistan is becoming fast inegalitarian. Senior opinion leaders feel that we have arrived in this state because, as individuals, groups and neighbourhoods, we did not do enough to identify and combat the principles, forces and tactics which were inimical to the working of Pakistan as an egalitarian society, particularly the unbridled accumulation. At the same time, a large number of these opinion leaders agreed that there was an urgent need of not only deploying a much more serious and bigger effort to mitigate the social impacts of unethical accumulation going on in the country for the last few decades but also to cluster different efforts in the same direction and join hands to stop the anti- social economic and political forces, which appear to have entered into a dangerous acceleration phase and recommit to the objective that the fathers of our Constitution gave us.
Responding to the disturbing ground realities reconfirmed during our discussions with a large number of opinion leaders on growing Pakistan into a more egalitarian society, SPRC has decided to upscale its current focus on social protection to the larger social policy landscape. Our Board of Directors also advised us the same during its last meeting held on 13th April, 2023, duly noting that contrary to the tall claims of giving Pakistan a comprehensive social protection system, Benazir Income Support Programme, has become merely a food security programme, with all its exclusion and inclusion errors. At present, Pakistan does not have a social security plan proposal on the table, which could protect those Pakistanis who are the worst victims of growing inegalitarianism in Pakistan.
The recent studies by SPRC and its latest survey emphatically suggest that if we continue without a major course correction in our Social Policy, Pakistani polity, God forbid, can dissolve, along with the economic system. We feel it is likely but not necessary. Pakistan’s economic system became a destructive tool in the wrong hands and is about to collapse due to its own contradictions. The resilient societies have a great capacity to regenerate themselves, if the thinking people join hands to lead the positive socio-cultural change. In order to provide a research and development platform to all the friends who would like to positively contribute to this process, we have designed the SPRC Egalitarian Pakistan 2047 Project. Through this project, we resolve to produce a well-studied, evidence supported counterpoise to elite capture in Pakistan, explaining the processes, phenomena, mechanisms and the systems through which our current development model ate into the social contract that the citizens of the country had with the State, etched into the 1973 Constitution, as the last line of the Preamble of our Constitution:
”Inspired by the resolve to protect our national and political unity and solidarity by creating an egalitarian society through a new order do hereby, through our representatives in the National Assembly, adopt, enact and give to ourselves, this Constitution.”
Our Constitution means to protect our national and political unity and solidarity by creating an egalitarian society in Pakistan, which means that for the fathers of our Constitution, national and political unity and solidarity of Pakistan is directly proportional to the state of egalitarianism in Pakistan. Being launched on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of our Constitution, SPRC’s Egalitarian Pakistan 2047 Project, seeks the realization of this promise of establishing an egalitarian society in Pakistan and resolve to resolutely confront the oppressive realities of the growing inegalitarianism in today’s Pakistan.
The presence of a dynamic and comprehensive social security system in a country is usually considered a sine qua non of an egalitarian society. However, the global evidence also brings home the point that a social security system does not exist in a vacuum. A national social security system goes together with low oppressiveness in social relations, severe checks on the excesses of the market forces, a capacitated civil service committed to egalitarianism, a functional criminal justice system and strong curbs on such cultural, social, media practices, which abet and/or promote inegalitarian attitudes. For us at SPRC, all these pillars of an egalitarian society must be anchored in our macro-social policy with the goal of strengthening the ethos of social cooperation, compassion and solidarity in neighbourhoods. Under this framework, SPRC aims at producing such quality research, which would strengthen the individuals and entities, who are involved in different struggles to produce a more egalitarian society in Pakistan in different social action fields. In this regard, SPRC is launching the following research and development programmes:
- Build Pakistan’s indigenous egalitarianism index and model
- Bring out a Watch on the State of Egalitarianism in Pakistan to be published on 23rd March and 14th August every year
- Hold periodic roundtables on key social action fields of egalitarianism
- Publish yearly State of Egalitarianism in Pakistan Report
- Publish a shadow report on the implementation of Principles of Policy of the Constitution
- Publish shadow Performance Reports of Commissions/implementation entities responsible for the implementation of UN Human Rights Conventions of UN. [With special reference to the provisions, which are highly correlated with fighting in-egalitarianism and growing egalitarianism in Pakistan]
- Publish neighbourhood atlases of egalitarianism with the help of the area Universities.
- Honour champions of egalitarianism
SPRC is in the process of reaching out to the potential partners to jointly promote egalitarianism in Pakistan, so that, come, 2047, an ordinary Pakistani feels secure about the future of her children as Pakistan enters in the second century of its existence.