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Economic collapse nears, but Pakistan’s elites can’t see beyond bailouts

Long dependent on foreign aid and fearful of political turmoil, Pakistan is postponing major structural reforms

January 25, 2023 / 12:39 PM IST
Many Pakistani cities faced power outage around 7:30 am (0230 GMT) on Monday, a failure linked to a cost-cutting measure as the country grapples with an economic crisis. (Image: AFP)

Many Pakistani cities faced power outage around 7:30 am (0230 GMT) on Monday, a failure linked to a cost-cutting measure as the country grapples with an economic crisis. (Image: AFP)

The problem is not that Pakistan economy is heading for a meltdown; the problem is that no one has a clear, coherent, cogent roadmap to pull the country back from the abyss. Imran Khan thinks elections will solve Pakistan's problems. If he wins, his good looks will lead to billions of dollars pouring into Pakistan.

The ruling combine is equally vacuous. Its gameplan is to try and get friendly countries (Saudis, UAE, Qatar, China) and the gullible West to pump in money that will help them tide over the immediate crisis. The most powerful political party – Pakistan Army – hasn’t got the foggiest idea of economics.

Still in Fool’s Paradise

If you don’t believe this, try listening to the prescriptions of retired generals on Pakistan’s idiot box and on social media. But if things spiral out of control, the military might be forced to carry the can, to which it has contributed significantly.