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Sri Lanka: A Key Piece in the Great Game of the Indian Ocean – Modern Diplomacy

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For the last few years, Western Media was
propagating that launched the “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) to trap
developing countries in debt and increase its political goals. Sometimes, they
use local agents to make similar propaganda too.

But, in Pakistan, we are experiencing a
different phenomenon. Pakistan’s debt has already crossed 100 billion and
still, the economy is not good shape. Most of the debt is from the IMF, World
Bank, Asian Development Bank, Paris Club, etc. There is only a small fraction of
Debt due to CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor), which constitutes around
5% of the total liability of Pakistan.

Pakistan is under the IMF program and
strictly following its designed reforms. IMF has been passing satisfactory
remarks on Pakistan’s performance. Some of the International Institutions are
ranking Pakistan in an improved form. The government is also projecting data of
a better economic situation.

But, on the ground, the general public is
rather expressing a different version. The electricity prices have gone up
sharply, Gas has been expensive by almost 200 %. Fuel is getting higher prices
on a monthly basis. Price hike of Electricity, Gas, and Fuel has resulted in
price hike food and consumer products. Not only the cost has gone up, but some
of the essential food products have vanished from the market and a severe
shortage of supply is witnessed.

Pakistan is an Agro-based country and is
capable to feed many neighboring countries too. It is strange that like Wheat
and Sugar, are also in short supply. It can be understood that imported items
may be expensive due to currency devaluation. But the domestically grown food
items are also getting higher prices in the market.

The situation has been deteriorated to the
extent that Prime Minister Imran Khan has to intervene and take some emergency
measures. He has allocated huge funds to meet the crisis of food in the
country.

Other countries like Egypt and Argentina,
who are availing IMF programs, are also facing a similar situation. Although
the people managing IMF programs are very well qualified, the output is against
the desired output.

If you look carefully, in Pakistan, it is
the same team, who has caused disaster in Egypt. Is it time for Pakistan to
face similar challenges like Egypt and Argentina? It is planed? Or Designed? Or
maybe just by Chance only or coincidence? Many more questions come into our
minds.

It is on record that PM Imran Khan was not
in favor of going to IMF, he has expressed such feelings during his election
campaign. How he was convinced or trapped to approach IMF finally?

People were inducted in his team, who
surrounded him and kept him isolated from others. They lobbied and convinced
him to approve to go to IMF. The team around him is not PTI team, some of them
have never joined PTI and few of them have joined PTI just near the Election
season, and lack any strong affiliation with PTI. There are also some imported
experts working on a very sensitive and crucial position around him. May be PM
Imran Khan was under pressure to induct some of his team members, but the whole
team cannot be imposed on him. On the other hand, hardcore PTI workers are
disgruntled.

No doubt about the honesty and sincerity of
PM Imran Khan, but choosing the right team was his prime responsibility. He
cannot be spared if his team is misleading him or making wrong decisions. He is
supposed to get feedback and consultations from various sources before making a
critical decision.

I am afraid, if the current team is not
rectified, and followed the current IMF program, the country may face even a
much more serious crisis. No doubt, the public had over expectations from PM
Imran Khan, but his team’s performance is rather poor.

I think, we are a resilient nation and can
manage any challenge, but need to rectify our mistakes. Comprehensive reforms
and restructuring are essential in his team. Deep reform at policy levels and
ruthless accountability is the only way forward. Although PM Imran Khan spoke
about merit on many occasions, on the ground, there is still nepotism and lack
of merit. Competent, loyal and sincere people are suffering.

West war making propaganda about China, but
what we are facing is Debt Trap by them. The trick is to install their people
in key positions, where they can influence decisions and achieve their
political goals. I believe BRI is not a debt trap, but West utilizes
International Institutions for debt trap and political goals.

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