New Delhi. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff General Syed Asim Munir sought financial assistance of $4 billion from the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia to ensure that Pakistan does not become a default country amid dwindling foreign exchange reserves.
According to a top source associated with the Pakistan government, the United Arab Emirates had clearly told Pakistan to review its policies and take steps to improve relations with the neighbors (India).
It was only after this that the news came that Shehbaz Sharif has demanded an ‘honest dialogue’ with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Kashmir issue, as ‘three wars with India have only increased its troubles, poverty and unemployment’.
An English newspaper of Pakistan also wrote in the past that when Pakistan seems to be sinking deeper into the economic crisis and PM Sharif is ‘begging’ the world for financial assistance, on the other hand India is ‘progressing’ day by day. Used to be.
So let’s look at those 10 big reasons because of which the PM of Pakistan is seeking help from India…
1. After the change of government in Pakistan, the country’s economy has become paralyzed and it is struggling to avoid being declared a defaulter.
2. Pakistan’s central bank is almost empty. The State Bank of Pakistan has only $ 4.2 billion in foreign exchange reserves, which means that Pakistan is left with only two-three weeks worth of imports. Its foreign exchange reserves declined from $16.6 billion to $5.6 billion in January 2022. Pakistan will have to repay about $8.3 billion in the next three months (January to March) of the current financial year as repayment of loans taken from other countries.
3. Pakistan has reduced its defense budget from 2.8% to 2.2% of GDP for 2022-23. Army spokesman General Babar Iftikhar said that the budget allocation has been reduced keeping in mind the inflation and the falling value of the rupee. This means that it cannot tolerate any kind of military conflict on its border. The country has been at war with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and other terrorist organizations since 2002. According to defense sources, the economic condition of the Pakistan Army has become so bad that it cannot even feed its soldiers twice a day.
4. A source associated with Pakistan’s Finance Ministry said that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is demanding a major cut in Pakistan’s military budget, as Sri Lanka did recently.
5. Severe floods of the year 2022 ravaged Pakistan’s agricultural land and caused about $40 billion in damage to infrastructure and crops.
6. Pakistan does not have enough vegetables, rice and wheat to meet its demand. It cannot even import due to dwindling foreign exchange reserves.
7. There are reports of shortage of life saving drugs like insulin for diabetes patients even in big cities like Karachi. Due to shortage of dollars in the government treasury, State Bank of Pakistan is not even allowing LC ie Letter of Credit, due to which orders from China, India, America and Europe are stuck.
8. Pakistan is not even able to meet its export targets and is facing a huge trade deficit of $48.66 billion. The trade deficit has reached alarming levels despite the Sharif government banning over 800 non-essential luxury items.
9. Pakistan’s all-weather friend China is also not in the mood to provide any kind of help due to the recent security threats and challenges regarding its citizens and the CPEC project. China is reportedly angry with Pakistan for ‘rejecting’ Beijing’s demand to set up a military post in Balochistan.
10. On the other hand UAE has developed strong relations with India, Israel and the United States to develop geo-economic and strategic cooperation. The recent I2U2 agreement is a big blow to Pakistan, which seems to be losing strong supporters like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates due to its security policies in the region.
Proposal ready to restore trade with India
On the other hand, according to a source associated with Pakistan’s Finance Ministry, the government has prepared a proposal to restore trade with India, as the same has been done for the import of basic items like vegetables, wheat, rice and medicines after the outbreak of flash floods. Seems to be the only ‘viable and easy option’.
The trade proposal states that political and economic experts also feel that only India can rescue Pakistan because of easily accessible trade routes like Wagah-Attari and Khokhrapar-Munabao border.
FIRST PUBLISHED : January 19, 2023, 05:30 IST