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Category: Business and Industry

Date Submitted: 09/19/2012 01:27 AM

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Worse to come

Dr Ashfaque H Khan |

Pakistan’s economy has been destroyed in less than five years with great precision, reflecting an unprecedented vulnerability within the annals of the country’s history. Has the economy reached rock bottom? The answer is ‘perhaps not.’ Although more destruction seems to be in the offing in the current fiscal year, what is surprising is that no one appears to be interested in salvaging the economy.

Those at the helm of affairs are least bothered. No one is protesting in the print and electronic media and civil society and intelligentsia appear to have given up. There are hardly any talk shows debating economic issues and print media seldom provides coverage of economic challenges. Additionally, civil society is not stirred enough to sponsor conferences/seminars on economic issues. The rich and powerful have protected themselves from economic meltdown, but the hapless masses have suffer and look likely to do so for the foreseeable future. Why do I see more destruction of economy in the current fiscal year? Firstly, Pakistan has been in the midst of a political turmoil for the last five years and this turmoil is expected to deepen further during the run up to the general elections. Political turmoil breeds uncertainty, which is inimical to growth, development and prosperity.

Secondly, the law and order situation and the security environment have deteriorated over the last five years contributing immensely to the destruction of the economy. These are likely to deteriorate further, particularly in the major growth centres of the country as we move forward towards general elections. The private sector has totally been devastated and lost confidence in the economic management of the government. They have already entered into the ‘wait and see’ mode, and would prefer to remain on the sideline and watch the developments on both political and security fronts as we move towards elections.

Thirdly, political uncertainty, worsening law...