Is coming out of the debt trap really next to impossible?
Swimming against the current is certainly a difficult task which requires a remarkable will power and determination. Likewise PM Imran Khan must be appreciated for swimming against the tide and eventually transforming PTI into a huge political force. However, the present government despite initially running against all odds now seems to be losing its sense of direction. One reason for this seemingly poor sense of direction is the lack of a reasonable economic policy on the part of the government. Considering the rise in inflation and the government’s decision of eventually seeking IMF’s support financial experts are criticizing the government for lacking a coherent economic strategy. In light of the State Bank’s statistics the present government’s economic policies have caused more damage to the economy as compared to the previous governments. Breaking the debt trap is probably not as easy as the present government thought before coming into power. Before coming to power the current government had mainly two economic goals breaking the debt trap and restoring the looted wealth of the State. However, in reality both these tasks are seemingly impossible as IMF has been deliberately designed to trap developing countries in an economic trap. The current regime after seeking financial help from its friendly states is now considering IMF’s bailout. Experts fear that IMF’s structural adjustment program will further devalue rupee, reduce economic growth and raise inflation.
Ever since the current government has come into power experts have been suggesting the need of auditing the accumulated foreign debt following the example of Ecuador. The inquiry conducted by Ecuador’s CAIC Commission stated that the former Presidents, finance ministers and presidents of banks had been involved in amassing state wealth. Therefore, the country’s government only paid off the legitimate portions of the accumulated foreign debt. However, the government instead of making prudent financial decisions is again leading the common people in IMF’s classic debt trap. The government despite making earnest efforts in restoring the looted wealth of the state has been experiencing a few setbacks. Political observers lament over the fact that facilitators of the accused political leaders are present in the Judiciary as well as the NAB showing impartiality. On one hand Interpol’s refusal to Pakistan’s request for Husain Nawaz’s extradition suggests international community’s disinterest in the revival of Pakistan’s economy. Whereas on the other hand it also indicates government’s slackness in building a strong case internationally against Sharif family’s money laundering. The government in the view of experts has been slack in signing treaties with Britain regarding the repatriation of criminals. Furthermore, the MOU signed so forth with the UK regarding repatriation of looted wealth has been much appreciated without realizing that MOU’s do not have a legal status. There are some 5000 fake accounts in the banks of Geneva with large investments made by corrupt politicians from all over the world. Therefore, it is believed that the western democracies will continue to support dishonest politicians. Some financial experts contend that since large portions of Pakistan’s state wealth are already safely invested in Europe the Interpol has no interest in helping Pakistan. The present government must adopt a coherent economic strategy in order to set the nation free from this classic debt trap. Pakistan has yet to decide whether to continue in the U.S camp or to join the Chinese camp. One view suggests if Pakistan drops out of the U.S camp and joins the Chinese camp than democratic form of government will certainly lose it importance in Pakistan. The possibility of a presidential form of government in the near future has become a national debate. This probability has already given rise to two camps. One camp is in favor of the presidential form of government as it has the ability to bring experts to the forefront. Considering the fact that presidential form of government has already been experimented experts from the second camp are simply against it. This view contends that since the Presidential form of government has been crucial in the debacle of East Pakistan therefore parliamentary form of government must be preferred. However, experts from both these camps are of the view that it is high time for the present government to look for the right direction.
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