Pakistan is facing a multifaceted crisis that is affecting both its politics and economy. The country is in dire need of a radical break from past policies, but no one seems to be willing to make that change. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan that Pakistan was counting on has been delayed for months, and the government has abandoned all its protectionist and populist measures in hopes of releasing the debt as soon as possible. However, this has only led to a further tailspin in the country’s economy. Prices of essential commodities have risen, and Pakistan is now struggling to feed its people due to a fall in the central bank’s foreign exchange reserves.
The US government has expressed concern about Pakistan’s economic instability and has indicated that it cannot do much beyond what it has done to support Pakistan with an IMF loan. This lack of support from the US is not calming the nerves of the government in Islamabad. The country is also facing a possible election this summer due to the zero-sum political game between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his predecessor Imran Khan.
Pakistan’s battle against a weakening rupee, growing demand for the dollar, declining foreign remittances, stagnant exports, and more cannot be resolved while its politicians are clashing fiercely with each other and joining forces to suit their needs. Additionally, Pakistan’s Gulf allies, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE have warned Pakistan that they will no longer offer free meals if the IMF program is not resumed in the coming weeks.
In conclusion, Pakistan is facing a severe crisis that requires immediate attention and action from both its government and international partners. Short-term fixes and political engineering will not work this time, and the country needs to push for radical changes in its policies to overcome this crisis. The IMF loan and support from the US and its Gulf allies will play a crucial role in helping Pakistan overcome its economic instability and secure a better future for its citizens.