Pakistan at Crossroads

Oct 12, 2011 by     1 Comment     Posted under: Opinions

It is a matter of recent history, that in our journey to freedom, we waded through streams of blood and carnage of unparalleled magnitude. From our red letter day to the present dawn, the affairs and matters of Pakistan have been tumbling on the borderline of instability.

For now, it would seem that Pakistan is surrounded by insurmountable odds. We have a serious food shortage (wheat, rice, sugar, cooking oil), an energy crisis, falling gas supplies, social and political chaos, burgeoning sectarian conflict and a quagmire of economic stagnation. As if that were not enough, suicide bombers have killed more than a thousand people in the course of last year.

As a result of this mayhem, the common man finds himself unwittingly entangled in daily torment. Discontent is spreading while our political leaders have been doing their best to exploit the unrest by playing the blame game. There is a growing fear that the country may be forced into defaulting on its foreign obligations.

Pakistan now has the lowest credit rating in the developing world. Terrorism and its intensity are linked almost directly to poverty and poor economy in the country. Considering the above stated facts, the first thing that comes to my mind is that Pakistan will collapse soon.

I often wonder if things are ever going to be all right again, and while thinking about this, my own confidence starts shaking from within. On October 6th, 2008, both Standard & Poor and Moody’s, two of the world’s largest rating agencies, claimed Pakistan as having the lowest credit rating in the developing world.

Since the advent of the new democratic government in Pakistan, the country has faced one of the worst economic crises ever in our history, with the inflation rate increasing up from 15% to 25% all of a sudden. The value of a Pakistani Rupee in the international market has crashed down at the same time, a U.S. dollar now making 87 Pakistani Rupees.

But these figures are more of interest to business students or traders. To the layman, especially those who are living close to the poverty line, the economic crises translates into greater dependence on others and – alarmingly – considering illegal means of meeting one’s needs.

Other than this, the prices of daily life commodities have also tripled. The reason being, the food grains produced within the country, for example, wheat is exported at low prices in the international market and is imported when its prices are high. The result is obviously the increase in price of these commodities in Pakistan.

Adding to that, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has accused the ISI of Pakistan of harboring links with the militants operating in Pakistan’s tribal areas and also suspects the ISI of aiding these militants. Rising tensions across the Line of Control in Kashmir prompted India’s Foreign Secretary to say that peace talks between the nuclear-armed neighbors had reached their lowest in the last four years.

Pakistan currently faces several daunting challenges which have now come to affect its own survival as a nation-state. If all this was not enough, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has emerged as a safe haven and an area of expansion for militants from Waziristan.

Our nation is in the grip of a serious energy crisis that is affecting all the segments of the society. As the situation stands today, there are hardly any immediate solutions to resolve the issue.

A change of attitude and a change of life style is needed at the national level which should be triggered by the ruling elite and followed by all segments of the society. At best, there could be some short and long-term solutions to the crisis, but they need immediate planning and execution with an enormous will power. None of the previous rulers of the country solved the issues due to which these crises kept on increasing regularly.

In the absence of a drastic re-engineering of its structure of power, Pakistan threatens to continue to grow into a bigger problem, both for itself and for the world. Time is this; choice is yours, let us join hands to make a difference!

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1 Comment + Add Comment

  • very well written …. do post that article which u mailed me …. woh conflicts wala, that is even better ….

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