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Pakistan on the losing side of history – Economic Times

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New Delhi: Pakistani leadership across spectrum including men in uniform appears to be delusionary state of mind as it referred to “India’s humiliation” in military standoff vis-à-vis China and delivered sermons to India about “interfering in neighbouring countries” which otherwise is Islamabad’s forte.

In yet another bizarre and hollow threat Director General (DG) Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Babar Iftikhar, while advising Indian military leadership not to play with fire, said that it should be clear that any aggression from India would be responded with full might and there should be no doubt in it.

In an interview on Geo Television’s Capital Talk, the DG ISPR warned India that there would be consequences of any military misadventure in the region and the consequences would be uncontrollable. “Let us not play with fire. We will respond any aggression with full might,” he said as he noted that Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa had said that India was planning false flag operation and even listed embarrassment being faced by India.

Pakistan, alive on steroids supplied by China, is making claims as it has failed to push its false Kashmir propaganda with its Army facing humiliation at home in the backdrop of India’s decision to change special status of Article 370. The recent UN report has further exposed Pakistan and ISI’s designs to destabilise the region.

The UN report said that around 6,500 Pakistani nationals were among foreign terrorists operating in Afghanistan and that Pakistan-based terror groups Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba are engaged in trafficking fighters into that country. There are reports that ISI is busy recruiting terrorists on the ground to increase terrorism activities in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch-Rajouri belt.

Pak economy is in a precarious state and its tall claims seem oblivious to facts on ground. The International Monetary Fund has asked cash-strapped Pakistan to freeze salaries of government employees and adhere to the fiscal consolidation path by showing a nominal primary deficit in the new budget Pakistan’s weak economic condition was further exposed by the COVID-19 outbreak.

For this fiscal year, the estimated primary deficit is 2.9% of GDP and the IMF wants a fiscal adjustment of 2.5% within one year.

Another issue between Pakistan and the IMF was the FBR’s tax target, which the IMF has proposed to be Rs 5.1 trillion. The FBR thinks it cannot collect more than Rs 4.7 trillion. Another FBR target that is currently under discussion is Rs 4.990 trillion.

For this fiscal year, the IMF had set a Rs5.5-trillion tax collection target but actual collection is likely to remain around Rs3.9 trillion. Total estimated cost of running the civil government in the next fiscal year is Rs495 billion and around half comprises the salary bill. Another Rs475 billion may be allocated for paying pensions in fiscal year 2020-21.

Pakistan has always faced economic difficulties due to several reasons – a basically agrarian economy, lack of industrial infrastructure and the sizeable diversion of financial resources to the maintenance of a military machine disproportionate to its legitimate defence requirements.

In the last 53 years of its existence, Pakistan launched four armed conflicts against India – 1947 – 48, 1965, 1971 and 1999 in Kargil. Pakistan has also sustained through its ISI separatist movements all over India, which requires sizeable resources.

The Pakistani economy in terms of exports potential and foreign exchange earnings lost out heavily when East Pakistan seceded to become Bangladesh. Pakistan is therefore, a state with limited economic means; negligible economic growth, no industrial infrastructure worth the name and yet vying to attain strategic symmetry with its powerful neighbour India.

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