Pakistan in dire straits both economically and politically

Pakistan in dire straits both economically and politically
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Pakistan in dire straits both economically and politically

Highlights

Former Ambassador of Pakistan to the US, UK and the UN, Maleeha Lodhi, in a recent write-up on her country's problems sees little hope for its economic and political future.

Former Ambassador of Pakistan to the US, UK and the UN, Maleeha Lodhi, in a recent write-up on her country's problems sees little hope for its economic and political future. No doubt, Pakistan has heaved a sigh of relief with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreeing for a loan programme that helped the country revive its market confidence to some extent. The neighbour's stock market too recovered a bit.

But, as she rightly analysed, the problems of Pakistan stem not from its bad economy alone but also from its bad politics. This country never has had clean politics and none who ruled it attempted to steer the country on to a democratic path that could have helped it stand firmly as a successful country today.

Right from its religion-induced birth and religion-based growth to the neglect of its developmental aspects including education and health, Pakistan continued to tolerate its rulers' colonial mind-set that never allowed its free growth. The Army and ISI controlled administration and the corrupt politicians and generals ruined it beyond repair. All those who could, have fled the country for greener pastures, including its top leaders. Ironically those who rule Pakistan cannot peacefully retire. Their sins do catch up with them soon and it is 'either jail or migration' that confronts them. The case of Imran Khan is no different. This General Bajwa's 'ladla' had his place under the Sun but lost it too soon due to his arrogance and mismanagement forgetting too soon that he is only a puppet in the hands of the powerful Army.

As Lodhi puts it "the confrontation between the coalition government and opposition leader Imran Khan has assumed an ominous shape after the former's PTI secured control of Punjab". There is now a serious confrontation over it and both the local government and the Prime Minister are leaving no stone unturned in unsettling the other. The Federal government is said to be after Khan using all means and has ordered a Federal investigation into the party funds.

On the other hand, Imran Khan seems to be encouraged by the crowds he has been drawing and he is showing little intention to step down. Thus the Shabaz Sharif's government is caught in a deep crisis as it faces a Hobson's choice.

Economic recovery of Pakistan is neither easy nor is it manageable. The country is surviving the crisis with the help of its all-weather friend China - whose own interests play a big role in keeping Pakistan floating - otherwise, it would have gone down the drain much earlier due to its terror connections. Yet another problem for Pakistan is its government's failure to prioritise economy over politics. This is the first time the country is facing a humongous financial crisis under such an adverse external environment as its experts and media admit. The country, like most others, was yet to come out of the Covid pandemic when the global commodity and market volatility struck it due to the Ukraine crisis. Worldwide inflationary trend has had its impact on Pakistan severely. This is one country, which does not attract any private investment except that of the Chinese, which comes with several riders. All this is no good news for India. Its volatility mounts pressure on our security. India has to secure itself in a multi-dimensional way from it.

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