The only reason the PDM government has not turned to the people for a vote of confidence is due to the catastrophic mismanagement of the economy by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar during possibly the worst crisis in Pakistan’s history. The PDM government would love nothing more than for the people to forget this.
A well-known economist from around the world has issued a stark warning that the nation’s economy is on the verge of collapse at a time when the nation’s focus is squarely on the escalating rhetoric from one branch of the state against another.
Atif Mian, a Pakistani-American professor at Princeton University who is widely regarded as one of the best economists of our time, recently posted on Twitter his deeply concerning assessments of Pakistan’s trajectory.
According to his words, the Pakistani economy is “unhinged” and has “gone off the rails” as a result of losing the confidence of its key stakeholders, as evidenced by recent data.
Dr. Mian says that one of the most important aspects of policymaking is “providing confidence.” This is because it keeps people willing to invest in the country and makes it possible for a better future.
He speculates that a breakdown of Pakistan’s “nervous system,” defined as “that combination of administrative and political structures that guarantee a certain level of confidence in the economy,” is to blame for the absence of this economic confidence.
The teacher says that supply-side disturbances made by Islamabad’s delayed disappointment secure an IMF understanding, Mr Dar’s risky obsession with the conversion standard while saves were declining, and his profoundly constrictive import strategies have lost the nation its believability by causing a “feeling that either no one is in control, or people with great influence have no clue about the thing they are doing”.
Pakistan is at a crossroads, with exports and imports declining at much faster rates than regional economies, inflation “off the charts, and extremely dangerous,” and the government unable to control the exchange rate. The economist has urged it to rebuild “a functioning nervous system” urgently, but nobody seems to be paying attention.
The government is still determined to maintain its hold on power for as long as possible. It has continued to delay Pakistan’s politically challenging but urgently required economic restructuring.
Dr. Mian has criticized the “selfish power grabs” that brought the country to this point. Now, with the new standoff between the legislature and the judiciary, the situation only looks like it will get worse.
The issue at hand is: Does our ruling class truly care about Pakistan? Do our generals, politicians, and judges know that the country is losing money and people as they move to safer and more stable places? If the current slide is stopped, the country may not recover from the devastation they have caused for decades. When will they be able to begin rebuilding?