Political Isolation Hurts Pakistan’s Economy


Prime Minister Imran Khan and his advisors continue to claim that Pakistan is so important to the world and especially to the United States, and China, that countries are just waiting to invest in Pakistan, bring capital and foreign investment, and even offer aid.


The reality could not be more different. Pakistan is even more isolated than before, no country has taken up Pakistan’s offer of geo-economics, the IMF is reluctant to give more money, and we are still on the grey list of the UN’s Financial Action Task Force (FATF).


As economic journalist, Khurram Hussain notes, “The country is now hurtling towards a state of isolation reminiscent of what we saw in the aftermath of the Abbottabad raid. Doors are closing and demands are rising. Meanwhile, at home the prime minister seems to have launched into election mode, cutting ribbons for development projects, rolling out programs for farmers and promising more growth to come in the year ahead. The two developments seem at odds. Either the prime minister is oblivious to the enormity of the challenges the country is facing, or all that is about to happen to another Pakistan, not the one he is prime minister of.”


Hussain points out that unless and until IMF gives the next installment of the loan “budget allocations cannot be sustained without creating massive imbalances in the macroeconomic framework. The external requirements to sustain the growth momentum are too large for the economy to afford on its own strength.”


Further, as Hussain states, “The government is joyously trumpeting the export numbers, but what they’re not telling you is that the trade deficit is rising faster still. The trade deficit in July jumped by more than 85pc compared to the same month last year whereas exports rose by 16pc.”


Hussain ends by stating “Pakistan is losing the battle of narratives that has broken out in the wake of the Taliban advance in Afghanistan. It cannot afford to lose its connection with reality.”