A Pakistan National Daily thenews.com.pk despite a lot of Censorship of the Media by Pakistan Army under the new PEMRA law, in an article purported to be written by an advisor to the World Bank Abid Hasan, but actually has the signatures of Pakistan army all over, has exposed Pakistan’s Financial Bankruptcy. The Pakistani National news website writes, “Every government in Pakistan, including the current one, has gone around the world with a begging bowl. We are now drowning in debt and stuck in an anemic growth orbit, and will continue to be this way since no government has pursued the deep reforms necessary to establish an economically strong Pakistan.”
The Pakistani national media website then compares with Bangladesh’s GDP per-capita with that of Pakistan and is of the opinion that they would be seeking aid from Bangladesh in 2030. It writes, “It was unthinkable, 20 years back, that Bangladesh’s GDP per-capita in 2020 would be almost twice that of Pakistan. Bangladesh could be an economic powerhouse in 2030 if it grows at the same rate as in the past. If Pakistan continues its dismal performance, it is in the realm of possibility that we could be seeking aid from Bangladesh in 2030.”
Pakistan’s National daily then does some introspection and accuses its politicians that put all blame of their failures on its enemies, IMF and the World Bank while the real culprit are corruption and the Pakistan’s support for terrorism factories in Pakistan. It writes, “Pakistan’s poor performance is our own fault, but our leaders conveniently blame our enemies and the IMF and World Bank. No doubt the IMF/WB have often peddled “poorly thought out and one-size-fits-all” policies and bad loans but the deep hole that Pakistan is in is largely its own doing. While corruption and the economic impact of terrorism have a role in the mess, for the most part the poor performance is a result of pursuing irresponsible, inappropriate and unpredictable policies, and half-hearted reforms. The two most glaring examples of reckless policies were: excessive overspending by government, financed by domestic and foreign debt; and imports far exceeding exports leading to unsustainable external debt.”
Pakistanis like always count the negative sides of the others and then wonder how Bangladesh grew 5005 in 25 years. It wonders, “Bangladesh’s successful journey is a good example, given the similarity in terms of religion, poor work ethics, messy politics, bad governance, weak public administration, high corruption, elite capture etc. In just two decades, Bangladesh has overtaken Pakistan on key economic indicators. Over the last twenty years, Bangladesh’s GDP per-capita increased 500 percent, two and a half times that of Pakistan. How did Bangladesh become a miracle story and Pakistan a disaster tale?”
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Pakistani Daily tries to enumerate the factors that could have lead to the economic growth of Bangladesh. It writes, “The socio-economic development story of any country is complex and unique to that country. However, one commonality among high democratic achievers is that over long periods they have by and large adhered to the key elements of the ‘Washington Consensus Policies’ – sound fiscal and monetary policies, liberalization with focus on exports, targeted pro-poor expenditures, and reduced role of government in commercial activities. Interestingly, all high achievers also had high levels of corruption.” However the daily either forgot or wants to turn a blind eye towards 2 major factors in the bankruptcy of Pakistan are the Pakistan’s perpetual hostility with its neighbor India and the race to acquire arms and technologies to stay relevant in case of a war with India although Pakistan has lost all the wars it fought since Independence and Partition in 1947.
Pakistan daily then counts irrelevant factors that could have lead to Bangladesh’s growth but still fell short of admitting Pakistan’s huge investments in Radical Terrorist Factories and funding the Anti-India forces in last 3-4 decades. It writes, “Bangladesh encouraged savings over consumption. Its savings rate is around 30 percent of GDP, compared to 15-20 percent for Pakistan . Pakistan’s irresponsible and impulsive policies encouraged public spending and import consumption way beyond what the country could afford.”
It further writes, “In 2000, Pakistan’s exports were 50 percent more than Bangladesh. Since then Bangladesh’s exports increased 700 percent, almost three and half times that of Pakistan. In 2020, Bangladesh’s exports were almost twice that of Pakistan. Because of imprudent import and exchange rate policies, we have been foolishly incurring foreign commercial loans, deposits and bonds, at high interest rates, to finance unnecessary imports. A stark example of this bad policy was when we imported $3 billion of cars and phones and raised an equivalent amount of Eurobonds.”
The Pakistani national news daily further writes, “For most of the past two decades, Bangladesh’s fiscal deficit was around three percent of GDP, while Pakistan’s fiscal deficits were twice as high. Over 20 years, Pakistan’s cumulative per-capita government spending was $4000, while Bangladesh was half of that. Despite our per-capita spending being twice that of Bangladesh, our economic and human development indicators are worse than Bangladesh. We spent double for worse outcomes! Government spending in Pakistan has been reckless, based on the uninformed belief that higher spending leads to growth.”
Pakistani Daily seems to ignore the huge spending on Pakjabi Pakistan Army, Arms, Ammunitions, its Jihad Factories, Financial assistance to Jihadists in India, Financial assistance to cause disruption in Afghanistan, cost of fighting war against Baloch, Sindhis, Mohajirs, Pashtuns in the occupied region are always paid from the Pakistan’s tax payers money and that costs are added to per-capita government spending. Whereas Bangladesh is not investing on Terrorist Infrastructure nor has fought any wars with any of its neighbors or is planning to fight any that could bring Bangladesh into Arms race with its neighbors.
It further writes, “As a result of irresponsible fiscal and trade policies : (i) Pakistan’s public debt is now close to 600 percent of government revenues, twice that of Bangladesh; (ii) bank lending to the private sector is 200 percent in Bangladesh and 80 percent in Pakistan. Credit to the private sector is very restricted in Pakistan because of excessive government borrowings; and (iii) our external debt is 400 percent of exports, four times that of Bangladesh.”
Pakistan Daily also ignored that fact that Chinese CPEC since it started in 2013 has taken everything Pakistan had and incurred huge debts and to pay interest thereon, Pakistan has to take additional loans. When Pakistan is already bankrupt and doesn’t have money to pay even the interest on loans, it is silly to even think that Pakistan can even give credit to Private sector. For Pakistan the only private sector is Pakistan Fauji foundation run group of companies that do not let any private entities survive in competition in its line of business.
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It further writes, “Pakistan’s FDI policies mostly encouraged investment in the service sector, where revenues are in rupees while liabilities in foreign currency. In comparison, Bangladesh aggressively promoted FDI in export manufacturing.”
The Pakistani national daily this time talks silly. A country that is known to the world as the Terrorist producing factory of the world, which foreign country or foreign company would invest into a terror hell of the world? While Bangladesh created an atmosphere of security and at least terrorism is not an issue in Bangladesh although religious radicalism and riots do happen against non-Muslims in Pakistan, but not at the scale that happen in Pakistan.
Now here the Pakistani national daily tried to talk sense but because of the fear of censorship and retribution by Pakistan Army, remained shy and tried to describe its issues in very few words. It writes, “Bangladesh’s economic miracle also benefitted from separation of religion from state, elimination of unelected institutions’ role in politics, and their leaders’ single-minded focus on Bangladesh.”
While Pakistan calls itself Islamic Republic of Pakistan, it committed genocide of Baloch, Mohajir, Sindhi, Pashtun, Hazara Muslims.
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Pakistan also used its draconian Blasphemy laws in persecution of religious minorities of Hindus and Christians. Hindu and Christian girls are forcefully abducted, converted to Islam and married off to Islamist Radicals. When such is the state of even the Christian girls, which Christian country with conscience will invest in Pakistan?
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Such are the bad days for Pakistan which once raped over a million Bangladeshi women thinks that only way out of this bankruptcy is to emulate Bangladesh. Or reading the suggestions how Pakistan can come out of Bankruptcy, it seems that the following have been dictated by Pakistan Army to extract even the last drop of blood off poor citizens of Pakistan. It writes, “It will hurt our national ego, but the only sure way for Pakistan to accelerate growth and reduce debt, and avoid seeking aid from Bangladesh, is to emulate Bangladesh. There is no shortcut to success, except to follow prudent fiscal and monetary policies.”
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“Pakistan must take the following painful steps to live within its means: (i) lower deficits to 3-4 percent in 2-3 years, through a judicious combination of tax raising, expenditure management and privatizing SOEs; (ii) for a few years, freeze total spending and domestic/ external debt at current levels; and (iii) strengthen the debt limitation law to make it difficult for irresponsible policymakers to circumvent the law.”
“Taxing the wealthy should be the major pillar for raising revenues. Pakistan should consider a dedicated ‘Debt Retirement Wealth Tax’ on individuals holding assets (urban/rural land and housing, vehicles, deposits and shares) over Rs50 million; and significantly increasing property taxes on property valued at more than Rs50 million. To lead by example, the PM could start paying property taxes on his “zero-rated” home. There should also be an increase in taxes on goods consumed by the wealthy.”
“The politicized ‘war on corruption’ should be turned into a ‘war on waste’, with savings used for growth inducing expenditures. Loss-making SOEs should be privatized urgently. When debt-to-GDP is around 100 percent and debt service consumes over 50 percent of tax revenues, it is suicidal to increase government spending to finance SOE losses and untargeted subsidies – every additional Rupee spending has to be financed by more domestic and external debt, thereby deepening the debt trap.”
“The deeply flawed 7th NFC Award, which has facilitated Pakistan’s bankruptcy and buried it under a huge pile of debt, needs to be changed. The provinces need to carry a proportionate burden of defense, debt service and subsidies, while the federal government PSDP should be limited to mega national projects only.”
“Pakistan must redouble efforts to accelerate export growth and curtail unnecessary imports to reduce current account deficits. Tax policies and business eco-system should be reformed so that exporting has the highest profitability compared to all other businesses catering to the domestic market – for example, to bring about a fundamental shift, domestic profits could be taxed at 50 percent, and export profits zero rated.”
Reading the above proposed steps, it is very clear that these have been dictated by Pakistan Army that runs the puppet show with their selected Prime Minister Imran Khan as puppet sitting on the thorn and its strings are pulled by Pakistan Army. It no where states that Pakistan will stop funding terrorist producing factories in Pakistan that sends arms, ammunitions and terrorists to both India and Afghanistan. It no where states that it will end hostilities with its neighbor India and that it will end arms race with India. It no where mentioned that it will give up or stop any further investments in its Nuclear program. It no where mentioned that it will stop any further funding to Chinese CPEC which has no benefits for Pakistan except a few Pakistanis opening roadside small restaurants or tyre puncture shops to service Chinese vehicles and the serve food to drivers.
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It does a wishful thinking when it writes, “If we continue with a ‘business as usual’ policy, we could end up taking aid from Bangladesh in a decade. In order to establish an economically strong Pakistan, it is incumbent on the PTI to reach out to all political parties to develop a national consensus on the fundamental reforms necessary to accelerate inclusive growth and at the same time lower debt.”
Points to Ponder
Why doesn’t US and EU help in dismantling this Terrorist producing Factory of the world and help Baloch, Mohajirs, SIndhis, Pashtuns and help in the formation of free and independent Balochistan, Sindhudesh and Pashtunistan?
Wouldn’t these new smaller non-radical nations will be best suited for the present day world which is rocked with the Radicalism and Terrorism inspired by Punjabi Pakistan’s version of Jihad worldwide?
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