Pakistan is on verge of economic catastrophe though it tries hard to get some relief from world economic bodies. A step towards it is that the country reached an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to resume its loan programme. The country is experiencing serious economic instability since last year. It is indebted to loans and investments from China. Thus badly caught in debt trap and there are serious concerns that the investments under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) are at great risk. Countries which are dependent on aids and loans from other countries are vulnerable to exploitation by lender nations in different ways. Thus due to economic distress such countries lose their sovereignty and integrity. Same happen with Pakistan.
In natural resources Pakistan is a rich country. Great abundance of natural resources is within this country. Among these resources are water, minerals, and forests. In addition, Pakistan has vast cultivable land in which various crops are grown and cultivated. Then, why is such news being spread about this country that, sooner or later, it will end up on the grey list? Has this country gone bankrupt? It is better to hear the answers to the questions from the columnists of Pakistan. But, before we answer the questions, let’s throw some light on the resources of Pakistan.
Coal, also known as black gold, is abundant in this country. The coal reservoir is estimated to be 175 billion tons. The cost of such a wealthy asset equals 618 billion dollars of crude oil, two fold the potential of the world’s four biggest oil-rich countries.
Natural gas is a substantial source in Pakistan. As per estimation, the treasure of natural gas is 885.3 billion cubic meters.
Crude oil is one more sizable source for Pakistan. Its estimation is more than 326 million barrels. Besides these most substantial resources, Pakistan owns a good deal of uranium, mineral salt, gold, and iron.
In the agriculture sector of the economy is the cash crop, cotton; the abundant and most ample resource. In addition, the other treasure-trove cash crops are sugarcane, tobacco, and oil seed. These crops are important sources of earning foreign exchange.
If any country is devoid of three things in particular, then the existence or non-existence of these resources is qualitatively the same. These three things are Brainpower, transparent trade, and straight politics. These together give out the fourth thing as their combined output which we know as the economy.
Now, if the country is put down into the grey category of the economy, either the brainpower is inadequate to explore these resources, or the corruption in its politics has permeated through every inch of its system.
TRT Pakistan, in its 22nd of May, 2022 update, has quoted the United Nations’ trade and development report of the year 2019 saying that despite the financial succour given by China and Saudi Arabia and the aid accorded by IMF, Pakistan couldn’t do away with the economic crisis dreadfully befallen her.
Here, despite abundant succour and the aid received, the country, Pakistan, couldn’t succeed to get over the crisis, naturally, the mind is struck with a question; where does this assistance in abundance go? The answer to this query or we can say a solution to this puzzle has been given by Mr Ali Furqaan, the columnist of VOA while quoting Mr Ishfaq Hassan as the country which is sunk into debt, however, the cars worth billions are bought; politicians and bureaucrats order food for their pet dogs and cats from the overseas, and even get soap and shampoo for them from foreign countries. What it simply untangles about those people of Pakistan who are entrusted with the trust of their countrymen is that these people are treasonous. These people are cheaters. They are treacherous!
One can see the awful height of the tyranny that the millions of dollars of the people of the country are expended over pets by those who are crowned with faith and trust by their countrymen. And, the people live in abject poverty. How this country can progress, and how can this country be peaceful ever?
The same columnist, Mr Furqaan Ali, reveals an astonishing fact saying that the stock market of Pakistan is just playing in the hands of a few investors. Mr Furqaan Ali has called these investors a confined club of aristocrats who just work like a network in a complete business understanding with one another. They take care of the benefits and profits of one another in the network. The membership of this club is restricted to the members of the families who enjoy the monopoly of the stock market.
In the same column, Mr Furqaan has quoted doctor Shahid Hussain Sideeqi reflecting on this confined club of aristocrats monopolizing the stock market of Pakistan as the club is composed of influential people belonging to the various domains of the economy. The composition comprises big traders, importers and exporters, telecommunication, some religious sections, economic technocrats, and those exploiters who in the name of privatisation grab national assets are included in the club. These are the people who, in cases of disputes and decisions, are being fully supported by the High Courts of the country. The most unfortunate with the country is that the judiciary too is a part of this nexus of thieves and frauds, known as the club of aristocrats. This nexus, like a dragon, has clutched the economy of the country in the loop of their club.
Doctor Sideeqi while writing about the level of influence of this club of aristocrats of Pakistan says that in Gen . Musharaf’s tenor oil-marketing companies made profiteering worth thousands of billions of rupees. This illicit scandal was exposed by the deputy chief justice, Mr Baghwan Das, of Pakistan in his commissioned report.
This brief account of Pakistan’s crippled economy reveals that no matter how resourceful a country is, still, it cannot prosper if its trade is in the hands of thieves. Moreover, it also reveals that the assistance and the aid, even if it is worth trillions, cannot boost the economy if a corrupt government handles it.