Sahibzada Muhammad Usman

Dr. Sahibzada Muhammad Usman earned his Ph.D. from the University of Pisa, Italy. He is an Assistant Professor and MS Cluster Head in Department of Strategic Studies at Air University, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Imran Khan’s Corruption Crusade Crumbles?


Imran Khan, the former cricketer turned politician and ex-Prime Minister of Pakistan, has been a controversial figure since he entered politics. Over the years, he has been accused of corruption and faced numerous legal challenges. In recent months, there have been renewed allegations of corruption against him, leading to his arrest.

Imran Khan rose to fame as a cricketing legend in the 1980s and 1990s, leading Pakistan to its first and only World Cup victory in 1992. After retiring from cricket, he turned his attention to philanthropy and activism, founding the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre in Lahore and becoming a vocal critic of Pakistan’s political establishment. In 1996, he founded the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, with the aim of ending corruption and dynastic politics in the country. However, despite being one of the most popular politicians in Pakistan, Khan struggled to gain a foothold in national politics for many years. It was only in the 2010s that the PTI began to gain significant traction, with Khan’s calls for reform and anti-corruption message resonating with a younger, more educated electorate. In the 2018 general elections, the PTI emerged as the largest party in the National Assembly, allowing Khan to become Prime Minister. Since taking office, Khan has faced numerous legal challenges and allegations of corruption. However, his supporters argue that these allegations are politically motivated and that he is the victim of a smear campaign.

However, this is not the first time that Khan has been accused of corruption. In 2017, a petition in the Supreme Court alleging that Khan had failed to disclose assets and accounts held in offshore companies in his nomination papers for the 2013 general elections. The case was eventually dismissed, with the Supreme Court ruling that Khan was not liable for any wrongdoing as he had not been a public office holder at the time. However, the ruling did not fully exonerate Khan, with the court noting that “it is the duty of every citizen to be truthful and honest.” More recently, Khan has been accused of granting amnesty to a close aide who was facing corruption charges. The aide, Tareen, was a prominent figure. He was facing charges of money laundering and fraud, but the charges were dropped in March 2021 after the government reached a settlement with him.

Imran Khan, the leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), was detained by NAB officials on Tuesday at the Islamabad High Court in connection with the Al-Qadir Trust case. Al-Qadir University for Sufism was established in Sohawa, Jhelum district, in 2019 with the help of the country’s former prime minister, Imran Khan. However, he and a real estate magnate were accused of stealing Rs. 50 billion from the national coffers and registering the Trust on 450 kanals.

The ongoing allegations of corruption against Imran Khan are not only damaging to his reputation but also to Pakistan’s standing on the international stage. Corruption is a major issue in Pakistan, and any perception that the country’s leaders are involved in corrupt activities can erode public trust and undermine efforts to attract foreign investment.

Moreover, Khan’s image as a reformer and anti-corruption crusader has been central to his political brand. If he is found to have engaged in corrupt activities, it could undermine the legitimacy of his party, the PTI.

The allegations of corruption against Imran Khan are a cause for concern for his supporters and critics alike. The ongoing allegations and investigations are damaging to his reputation and that of his party. Ultimately, it will be up to the courts to determine whether Khan is guilty of any wrongdoing. In the meantime, it is important for Pakistan’s leaders to take strong action to combat corruption and restore public trust.

Propaganda War to Set Upraise in Pakistan

The enemy’s major strategy against Pakistan is propaganda warfare, which adversaries are using in an effort to incite various segments of Pakistani society against the government. The standard hybrid war tactic is employed to undermine Pakistani bloggers/journalists and human rights organizations against the state. Accusations that these organizations are being used by enemy agencies of Pakistan to further their agenda with regard to the issue of missing persons are unfounded and unsupported by evidence.

It is important to recognize that accusations of foreign interference or hidden agendas only serve to undermine the important work that human rights organizations do.

Pakistan’s enemies attempt to undermine Pakistan’s stability and sovereignty by backing their phoney campaigns for free speech, expression, and missing persons. The issue of missing persons is a complex and multifaceted problem that affects all provinces of Pakistan, albeit to varying degrees. Enforced disappearances have been reported from different parts of the country, including Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, and Punjab.

In the past, Pakistan has seen a number of left-wing individuals, NGO employees, journalists, and purported human rights advocates flee the country in search of refuge overseas by fabricating stories against Pakistan and its security forces for the benefit of mainstream media. However, the UN and other reputable international organizations worldwide have consistently rejected their allegations because they lack supporting documentation. Pakistanis, particularly the young, are proud of their nation and its security forces, so they consistently defend it in forums to dispel hostile lies.

The above-discussed situation is now being produced by forces hostile to Pakistan, who wish to further their own interests by stirring up discontent and upsetting the country’s stability. In this context, tying together the concerns of missing individuals, freedom of speech, and expression will also aid left-wing anarchists in Pakistan and deflect attention from India’s terrorist actions over the border. This poses a real threat to Pakistan and should be considered a strategy in the context of fifth-generation warfare.

Pakistan has suffered the most in terms of manpower and resources as a front-line state in the fight against terrorism. But regrettably, allies and Western nations have doubts about Pakistan’s efforts, question its dedication to the cause, and steadfastly refuse to consider their own national and strategic interests in the region. The majority of the anti-Pakistan propaganda is produced and delivered outside of Pakistan. As a result, taking any action against them is quite difficult. All this is done by foreign intelligence agencies from other countries to support this fifth-generation assault against Pakistan.

With its unrestricted, worldwide reach and all-permeating power, certain international media is likewise ferociously working to defame Pakistan and damage its reputation among other countries. According to research by the non-governmental organization EU Disinfo Lab in Belgium, more than 265 phoney local news websites run by one “Indian influence network” have been discovered in over 65 countries. These are responsible for global anti-Pakistan propaganda.

Under the current conditions, the government must prioritize efforts to improve its understanding of Pakistan’s position and reputation abroad in addition to relying on state-to-state diplomacy. In actuality, Pakistan boasts one of South Asia’s most active media landscapes. In Pakistan, privately owned media dominate. In contrast to the country’s five state-run TV networks, Pakistan boasts more than 100 privately held television channels and almost 300 privately owned daily newspapers, demonstrating Pakistani media’s freedom of expression and free speech rights. Along with it, Pakistan’s emergence of a free press and an independent judiciary are, in fact, historic developments. Equally encouraging advances are the steps made toward gender equality and women’s empowerment.

According to Dawn, tourism in Pakistan has grown by 317% since 2014. This statistic is simple to believe, particularly in light of the many travel influencers and content producers promoting tourism in Pakistan lately. As a result and unavoidably, there are many opinions about travelling in Pakistan on the internet today, some of which are accurate while others are inaccurate and written by tourists who have only spent a short time there, claiming that Pakistan is one of the safest countries in the world or that they felt very safe while visiting.

The main causes of Pakistan’s escalating economic crisis

The economy of Pakistan is struggling, and it is taking some desperate measures to prevent a collapse. The issue is so severe that the country has decided to sell its embassy property in Washington and ordered markets, wedding venues, restaurants, and shopping centers to shut early to preserve electricity, which is mostly produced by imported oil.

Even though the country’s economy has not been doing well for a while, the crisis has recently gotten worse as a result of a number of factors, including: disproportionately higher government involvement in economic activities, a sizable informal economy, agriculture’s continued role as a major employer of labor, a focus on cotton-related production activities, policies biased toward import-substituting activities, disregard for the services economy in public policies, and a low rate of savings.

The economy of Pakistan is now bound by slow growth, high unemployment and inflation, declining investment, large fiscal deficits, and a worsening external balance situation. Due to limited international capital inflows, significant debt repayments, and a sluggish expansion of foreign revenues, foreign currency reserves are rapidly decreasing. Only one month’s worth of imports can now be paid out of Pakistan’s foreign reserves. These are the results of the economy’s fundamental issues not being addressed promptly. In turn, failure to produce “inclusive” development endangers society’s social order.

Pakistan’s savings rate is consistently low compared to the need for investments. This is one of the key causes of our dependence on foreign funding. When foreign money is unavailable, the investment rate declines even further, negatively impacting employment and the economy. The main causes of Pakistan’s poor private savings are: low or negative real interest rates, insecure income, many dependents, low levels of education, high inflation, a lack of saving culture, etc.

The nation’s energy dilemma is mostly caused by circular debt, untargeted subsidies, distribution issues, and theft. Due to high generating costs relative to the price paid by distribution corporations, the government offers significant subsidies.

Large portions of the economy operate informally and are exempt from national rules and regulations. The informal economy is not included in official statistics since it is not registered. Because of this, the majority of official economic statistics show a dire situation. The informal economy has to be recorded.

Losing State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) uses significant financial resources in addition to paying down massive amounts of debt, hindering economic development and public budgets. The major causes of SOE losses include staff incompetence, overstaffing, inefficiencies, and corruption. The government has been giving SOEs resources to guarantee that these businesses continue to operate. However, SOEs make no real efforts to increase their productivity, efficiency, etc., to make themselves financially viable in the long run. As a result, the government spends significant money annually to ensure SOE existence.

Weak regulatory systems are to blame for a lot of the economic issues. In consequence, inadequate institutional capacity contributes to the lax enforcement of rules and regulations. This is particularly evident regarding how tax and competition rules are applied. People dodge and avoid paying taxes with the help of tax authorities and legal loopholes. The lack of application of competition legislation makes it easier for vendors, in general, to defraud customers on both price and quality.

Pakistan needs to implement economic changes due to its ingrained structural issues. It ought to go slowly while implementing well-thought-out changes. The government must consider the societal effects of changes, such as joblessness, environmental damage, and economic disruption, while enacting them. Additionally, reforms should be planned such that there is no imbalance across the provinces. Strong political will and agreement between the federal and provincial governments are necessary for all of this.

Introduce fundamental changes to the economy, SOEs, and business environment, which will boost investment. The ultimate goal of SOE, restructuring and privatization should be to aid in the restoration of fiscal stability and to increase investor confidence in Pakistan’s future economic prospects and possibilities, which will promote development and job creation. Remove bias from policies discouraging exports, reduce commodity concentration, diversify export markets, and boost exports’ ability to compete globally. This will increase export shares in both international and domestic markets.

To put Pakistan on a path of higher and more inclusive growth, immediate policy changes are required, including: (1 ) strengthening public finances through revenue mobilization, cuts in wasteful and low-priority expenditure, and a strengthened fiscal decentralization framework; (ii) reforming the energy sector to eliminate the power deficit and untargeted subsidies; and (iii) Making the economy less reliant on foreign help for maintaining growth, which would be a significant structural transformation. Though it could take some time, the procedure must start right away. In this sense, policies should be implemented to encourage increased savings among all economic participants.

Any economy’s growth is driven by the private sector. Sadly, the majority of economic policies, particularly those pertaining to finance, are prejudiced against the private sector. As a result, this industry has not had the anticipated effects on the economy. The private sector should permit all economic activity to take the lead, provided that the regulatory framework is efficient. The government’s main responsibility should be to assist the underprivileged with social and physical infrastructure and social safety.

Russia and Pakistan Energy Diplomacy


 The economy of Pakistan is under pressure, and several important economic indicators specify a dire scenario. The decision-makers must have a real debate about how they intend to take genuine action to address the difficulties ahead as the problems with oil, gas, and power worsen for the general public and the government. Unfortunately, we are mired in a political drama that never seems to let up.

The first shipment of crude oil and petroleum products is anticipated to enter Pakistan in late March after the completion of a definitive agreement between Pakistan and Russia. In Pakistan, to negotiate the contract, Russian Energy Minister Nikolay Shulginov said that we have already resolved to prepare an agreement to address all of the concerns that we have with respect to volume, payments, insurance, and transportation.

Even though certain important elements still need to be worked out, the agreement would greatly impact Pakistan’s economy and relations with the rest of the world if it were to go through. It is the first significant step that Pakistan and Russia have taken toward developing their bilateral cooperation in oil and gas trading. In the past, discussions in this respect remained at the level of first expressions of interest. Pakistan now intends to meet 35% of its whole crude oil need from Russia and start imports in a few months. If all goes according to plan, the trade may significantly alter the bilateral relationship, enabling both nations to better organize their interactions.

The possibility of importing gas and oil from Russia also gives Pakistan another outlet to acquire oil at a lower cost. This is crucial since Pakistan’s foreign currency reserves are adequate to pay for three weeks’ worth of oil imports, putting the country in a similar scenario to the default. Most of Pakistan’s imports are made up of energy, and the country would benefit from cheaper oil from Russia by being able to control its growing trade imbalance and balance-of-payments issue. To pay for Russian oil, Pakistan is anticipated to utilize the Chinese yuan. The joint declaration states that the oil and gas trade transactions would be set up such that both nations profit after an agreement on the technical specification has been reached. This may lessen some of the strain on Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves.

The outcome is also a significant diplomatic victory for Pakistan. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it seems that Pakistan has discovered a means to evade the sanctions imposed by the West. Pakistan might not have gone this far in talks with Russia if it had been concerned that the agreement would upset the United States and its allies. This is especially significant since Pakistan is now in negotiations for another review to allow the release of significant money from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The speed at which Pakistan and Russia are closing a deal suggests that the United States may not oppose the two nations doing commerce. It’s also probable that Pakistan accepted American advice while deciding to acquire Russian oil. The United States and Pakistan’s usual Gulf energy suppliers have not yet made any public declarations objecting to Islamabad’s continuing talks with Moscow.

The U.S. seems ready to ignore the agreement. Ned Price, a spokesman for the State Department, said that “the U.S. was sensitive to the difficulty of stabilizing Pakistan’s economy. I know Pakistan’s collaboration with the IMF and other global financial organizations. We want Pakistan to be in a situation where its economy is stable”. According to reports, Washington has increased financial involvement with the present Pakistani administration. A team of top U.S. Department of Treasury officials is scheduled to visit Pakistan shortly to address various areas of financial assistance for Pakistan. In addition, the American embassy in Islamabad plans a seminar on energy security challenges for Pakistan in March.

For Pakistan, everything seems to be going well. It is encountering little opposition in its efforts to reach an agreement with Moscow. Now, Islamabad should concentrate on fulfilling all technical requirements to guarantee that Russian supplies reach Pakistan’s ports as soon as possible. Thus, the IGC session is crucial and significant. The general diplomacy in the Asian area around energy and gas has also caught Pakistan off guard. A power struggle between the two giants has developed out of what started as China’s economic sway over the ASEAN area. It is now being fueled by Russia’s attempts to advance east. India’s oil consumption appeared to have no boundaries as it devoured roughly 60 million barrels of Russian oil in 2022. Is India only trying to restock its oil supplies, or is it attempting to sway regional oil diplomacy on the Quad’s behalf? With the best U.S. oil refineries awaiting Russian oil supply, which has been speculated as another reason for the increased Indian oil supply, a ban on Russia from Europe does not have a significant impact on its oil and gas supply. The officials’ nerves will be tested as they attempt to clinch a successful deal, particularly with the IMF watching their every move intently.

Pakistan’s greatest failure has been the inability to recognize the actual problems that we are currently facing and the propensity of moving funds from one area to another over the last 75 years without truly paying our bills and commitments. The most recent Geneva Convention is a prime example of this pattern when Pakistan obtained bank and soft loans totaling more than $ 9 billion to avoid the looming economic crisis. The facilitators of Pakistani government machinery need to reevaluate several things, including their upcoming diplomatic commitments and agreements as well as our internal competence.