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Pakistan: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif What Have You Done? – OpEd

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Looking at an advertisement published in a leading English newspaper of Pakistan has prompted me to communicate with my readers and or anyone who is worried about the fast deteriorating economic conditions of Pakistan.

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I am ready to say without mincing my words that historically Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been more than gracious in extending support to Pakistan, the first Muslim country to attain the status of ‘Atomic Power’.  

At this juncture when the negotiations with the lender of last resort, International Monetary Fund (IMF) have been marred there was an urgent need for Pakistan to have enough foreign exchange reserves, be it earned or borrowed, to meet the targets agreed with the Fund.

Since commercial borrowing could prove fatal, the only option was to approach the ‘time tested friends’, who have reciprocated as usual. Therefore, it is not a ’well-done’ by the incumbent prime minister, but graciousness of the Monarchs.

It is true that Mian Sahib, has been put in a very difficult position by the coalition partners, they don’t want to take responsibility of ‘bad’ decisions but to attain political mileage in the upcoming elections.

It appears that some of Mian Sahib’s advisors, fearful of the repercussions of ‘bad’ decisions are suggesting to sweep the issues under the carpet, which can make the things even more complicated for him as well as Pakistan.

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Mian Sahib has already committed ‘double fault’ by not increasing prices of energy products, despite recommendations by the Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA).

The harsh reality is that with each passing day, price of crude oil hovering at higher level and Rupee witnessing erosion in value the quantum of subsidy has already become unmanageable.

The sooner the incumbent government increases the tariffs of energy products, the better it will be for Pakistan. It may be a blessing that Pakistan’s friends are willing to supply oil/POL products at deferred payment, but the outstanding amount has to be settled in due course of time.

The other decisions which has offended overseas Pakistanis, remitting around US$2.5 billion per month, is ‘unwillingness’ of the incumbent government to allow them to cast their votes in the general elections of Pakistan.

According to informed sources, overseas Pakistanis have threatened to withdraw amounts kept in Roshan Digital Accounts, if they are not allowed to cast their vote in forthcoming general election.

To conclude, there is a friendly advice to the incumbent government that it must address the grievances of overseas Pakistanis without any further delay. While the IMF has indicated to give Pakistan US$2 billion over the next two years, overseas Pakistanis are sending more than this amount every month.

Shabbir H. Kazmi

Shabbir H. Kazmi is an economic analyst from Pakistan. He has been writing for local and foreign publications for about quarter of a century. He maintains the blog ‘Geo Politics in South Asia and MENA’. He can be contacted at [email protected]

One thought on “Pakistan: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif What Have You Done? – OpEd

  • May 5, 2022 at 5:33 am
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    Copy of the said advertisement can be viewed by visiting mt blog site shkazmipk.blogsopt.com.

    Reply

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