“Pakistan’s current crises do benefit India in a couple of short-term ways. For one, it potentially gives India a breather for at least the immediate future from both the terrorist and a conventional war threat. Pakistan’s current domestic political and economic challenges hopefully would prevent either their military or political leaders from engaging in risky external adventurism”, said Rajesh Rajagopalan in an article published in the Print a few weeks back. Rajesh is a professor of international politics at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.
Very intelligently, the honourable professor, ignored the fact that hard times are never permanent; every night ends up with a bright shining morning. From destruction caused by floods, storms, earthquakes and plague, darkness prevails but for a short period. Trials and tribulations are just a part and portion of life not the whole. When we talk of history of different countries, we find very horrible types of economic and political crisis, apparently forcing the countries into the pitch dark depths of eternal destruction but it never happens that a country is wiped off the world map just because of these political and financial crisis.
The Conference Board has recently shown in an analysis that Argentina is the country which has been facing the most years of negative GDP growth since 1951. The report further says that Argentina has been caught up in a cycle of overspending, inflation, debt-making, unsustainable cuts to government programs and bad fiscal policy. In the last month of October Eliana Raszewski penned down an article for the Reuters with the title ‘Argentina braces for election with economy in intensive care’. The article says, “Inflation is at 138%, net reserves of foreign currency are in the red, savers are ditching the peso, and a recession is looming.” But in spite of all such hurdles and troubles, Argentina is still there on the world map.
Same is the story of the 16th largest country in Europe, Bulgaria. Comprising of an area of 110,994 square kilometers, this country has witnessed many ups and downs in its economic history. According to a report the Annual GDP growth rate of the country declined from 3.8% in 2022 to 2.0 in the first half of 2023. Economic activity in Bulgaria was negatively affected by weak external demand, after buoyant exports in 2022. But in spite of all this Bulgaria is still a marvelous contributor in the world of technology. Be it the manufacturing of airbags for aircraft pilots; nowadays used in automobiles, the Frozen Gasoline System for airplanes, the Reverse thrust device for jet engines and the Jordaphone known as the predecessor of the modern Answering machines and Tape recorders; Bulgaria is always in a leading position.
Somewhere in November 2022, a write up was published in the Financial Express with the title ‘Economic and political crisis in the UK’. The article said, “The UK economy is facing a crisis of economic decline which has led to the intensification of political crisis as reflected in rising political instability and unrest. Sunak’s likely government spending cuts will lead to an even deeper economic and political crisis.” It further referred to a report issued by the Office of National Statistics which said, “The UK economy shrank by 0.3 per cent in August. Some rating agencies consider that the UK is already in a full year recession. According to the Food Foundation, one quarter of UK households are now in food poverty. Out of a 68 million UK population, 14.5 million people live in poverty, including 8.1 million working-age adults, 4.3 million children and 2.1 million pensioners.” But in spite of that pathetic financial situation, today almost after a year, the UK is still there standing in the row of mainstream policy-making countries.
Pakistan is also passing through a temporary phase of political and economic instability at present. The horrible impacts of Covid-19 got multiplied with the disastrous effects of horrible floods in the next year and then there was another monster ‘climate-change’ ready to gag the whole society. Though some People are of the opinion that the recent change in political scenario is also a factor which has created problems for Pakistan but political changes are part and parcel of every civilized society; without such changes, societies become apolitical rather stagnant. Such short phases of tough times do come and keep on recurring in the life of almost all countries and all nations but determination and consistency of objective minimize the intensity of these short phases. Pakistan is also trying its utmost to get out of troubled water with the help and support of its sincere friends including US, China and UAE. The US is always on the top in the list of friends of Pakistan. For more than 70 years, the US has been providing a very strong support to Pakistan in different fields including energy, economic growth, education and health under USAID program. Now-a-days, USAID is partnering with the Government of Pakistan to expand the writ of government along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region. The US is providing financial support to Pakistan for completion of various ongoing development projects. Hopefully this joint venture towards sustainable and self-reliant growth would prove very beneficial in the days to come. People like Rajesh Rajagopalan must not worry about Pakistan’s so-called ‘Financial and Political’ crisis. Though facing a temporary hard time, Pakistan is still strong and still sturdy and would remain prominent on the world map.
Views are personal