Fiscal crisis: Pakistan to seek second loan to pay off the first

Published: March 27, 2011
Email
Finance minister to negotiate programme with the IMF next month. PHOTO: FILE/AFP

Finance minister to negotiate programme with the IMF next month. PHOTO: FILE/AFP

ISLAMABAD: 

Pakistan has decided, in principle, to seek another International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme to return loans that it has so far obtained from the IMF, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The government and the IMF are already in the preliminary stages of negotiating the second loan programme, in the first confirmation of rumours that had been circulating in the capital for the last few weeks.

Islamabad is currently reviewing various options to begin loan repayments of the current $11.3 billion IMF loan programme, of which Pakistan has received $8 billion. The last two tranches of the loan, worth $3.3 billion, were suspended after Pakistan failed to levy a value added tax, also referred to as the reformed general sales tax (RGST). Repayment must commence from early 2012 and must be completed by 2016.

It is looking increasingly likely that the government will seek another IMF loan programme to pay off the last one, according to a senior government official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the subject.

The source, however, was quick to point out that the new IMF programme was the result of government insolvency.

“The size of the new programme is not so important but what is critical is the signal it would give to the rest of the world,” said the official. He said the options on the table include a revival of the suspended programme “bridged” with a new programme or “completing” the suspended programme and “getting a new one.”

Another option would be to  terminate the existing programme and apply for a new one, but the signal that would send to international creditors makes the government wary of proceeding with it. According to the source, the government’s final decision will depend on what conditions the IMF attaches to any new programme.

Under the ‘bridge’ option, Pakistan would meet some of the IMF’s conditions and obtain a tranche of $1.7 billion, marking an end to the existing programme’s suspension. It may then request the IMF to convert the last tranche into a new programme.

The size of the new loan programme will be directly linked to the strength of the country’s balance of payments for the current fiscal year as well as the next. According to the latest by the government and the IMF, Pakistan’s current account deficit – the gap between external receipts and payments – is expected to remain at comfortable level during the current and upcoming fiscal year.

The second loan programme will be discussed during Finance Minister Hafeez Sheikh’s visit to Washington. The finance minister is scheduled to visit Washington from April 12 to attend spring meetings of the IMF and the World Bank. He will also hold talks with the United States Treasury Department.

In a bid to convince the IMF that Pakistan is serious about tax reform, the government plans on enhancing the income tax base in the upcoming budget, rather than relying on indirect taxes as has been the case in the past.

If the government fails to secure a second IMF programme, the government may try to float a sovereign bond in the international capital market, but without IMF backing, it is unlikely that the government will find many takers.

A second back-up option the government has is to deplete the country’s foreign exchange reserves, which currently stand at about $17.5 billion. Finance ministry officials estimate that they can deplete this up to the $8 billion mark, though it would likely also result in rampant inflation and massive currency depreciation.

According to the latest data from the central bank, Pakistan’s total debt stands at Rs11 trillion, which is equal to 69.1 per cent of the total size of the economy.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 27th, 2011.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (59)

  • Vicram Singh
    Mar 27, 2011 - 8:33AM

    A couple of cycles of more borrowing and the Pakistani Rupee will be worth toilet-paper.Recommend

  • John
    Mar 27, 2011 - 8:36AM

    Was expecting this since SBP monetary policy came out and IMF went back.

    Implement RGST first, at least in promulgation and enact it along with other tax base increase law.

    This will reduce the inflation also.

    The circular debt is not going to work.

    May be ask India to buy sovereign bond? Not a bad idea.

    Of course finance ministry know all these by who is listing. That is the problem. Recommend

  • Moise
    Mar 27, 2011 - 9:39AM

    World bank employee masquerading as Pakistan Finance Minister dragging us deeper in debt which we cant get out of. Allah please reward him for his deeds.Recommend

  • Billoo Bhaya
    Mar 27, 2011 - 10:15AM

    Brilliant strategy???? Then after we default we will ask for another loan to pay this one off. Pakistan’s credit rating and credibility, already highly speculative, will be placed on default mode. We can kiss Pakistan Goodbye!! Recommend

  • pl/sql
    Mar 27, 2011 - 11:00AM

    uh oh! Here comes the vicious cycle Pakistan.Recommend

  • Abdul Ali
    Mar 27, 2011 - 11:03AM

    What is this……. a joke

    people are very upset about the rapidly increasing national debt both domestic and foreign and they are demanding a solution. What they don’t realize is that there simply is not a solution under the current financial system
    I feel that it is now mathematically impossible for the government to pay off the national national debt–both foreign and local.
    Pakistan Government’s domestic debt and liabilities according to State Bank of Pakistan March 2011 report is Rs 5192 billion

    The External Debt (Dec2010) is at $ 58.4 Billion
    And liquid reserves are (Dec 2010) is $14.1 Billion
    External debt is projected to be about 34% of GDP
    Debt servicing account for about 14-15% of the entire budget

    Stop this crazy borrowing and learn to stand on own feet.

    Broaden the tax base,tax agricultural income,reduce expenses, privatize/sell massive loss making public enterprises.
    The present FBR set up cannot deliver.Look at the mess,confusion,the 15 March tax measures have caused. The present setup of FBR lacks technical competence .
    Failure is not an option.PleaseRecommend

  • Allah The Great
    Mar 27, 2011 - 11:08AM

    @Vicram Singh: I foresee a steep fall in global “TOILET PAPER” prices owing to very high supply coming from Pakistan. It will be sometime before all the “TOILET PAPER” gets used up and prices come back to normal levels.

    I propose shorting the “TOILET PAPER” Spot and going long on at the money or slightly out of the money “TOILET PAPER” Puts. Given the strength of the trade leverage is the way to go.

    We will have to keep track of the underlying factors the most important being production levels of “TOILET PAPER” from pakistan. But given the fundamentals it seems to be a decent money making trade. Recommend

  • M. N. Barlas
    Mar 27, 2011 - 11:14AM

    New Financial war against Pakistan has already begun by super powers. No need to attack Pakistan by armed forces. Just rip the country financial and economical infrastructure. Already inflation, unemployment and disorientation among the leaders is all time high. Good time to de-stablize Pakistan.Recommend

  • Umair Waheed Sheikh, Khayban e Hafiz,IBA Karachi
    Mar 27, 2011 - 11:29AM

    @Abdul Ali:
    u r the one who elected this government!Recommend

  • LOL
    Mar 27, 2011 - 11:39AM

    @ M.N. Barlas – Pakistan does not need any help imploding. Your religious and political “leaders” if one can call them that have already put Pakistan on the path to destruction.

    The rest of us hope normal, intelligent Pakistanis like you and the people who write for this newspaper can save your country.Recommend

  • Nation Prevails
    Mar 27, 2011 - 11:41AM

    A very good and extraordinary strategy to destabilize Pakistan but I have one question can Kindly tel me where this money goes and in which field this all loan is spent. Because people are dying of hunger and poverty, @M. N. Barlas ya u r right no need of military action against Pakistan bcoz they know that will be humiliating for these powers they can’t go against Pakistan head to head.

    With Love from PakistanRecommend

  • nouman
    Mar 27, 2011 - 11:42AM

    The corruption is killing us!!!! I want my tax money to be used elsewhere… improving the economy!!! Inject taxpayer money into the economy!!! Why the hell can’t we improve it!? We do have the finest minds but I don’t know what are they doing.

    First just stop paying the army! Getting new jets and everything. Its no point if your going to fight a war in an empty stomach! Its just better to surrender or do some negotiation. Just for Allah’s sake, end the damn war or ask the American to pay for the debt! Why the hell is this burden on my father’s hard earned money!!!!!!!!

    PLEASE EXPLAIN! Recommend

  • Mir
    Mar 27, 2011 - 11:58AM

    Hah .. If that’s not the funniest financial joke ever then I don’t know what is!! Always blaming others while sitting comfortably.. if it was affecting so many people why haven’t the people done anything about it??Recommend

  • J Oberoi
    Mar 27, 2011 - 11:59AM

    All I read here is doom and gloom. There is a way out of this debt-trap – economic growth and lots of it. Don’t look at debt-to-GDP ratio in isolation. Any developing nation is going to have high debt. But that won’t be an issue as long as the economy posts high growth – upwards of 7%.
    Pakistan MUST focus on the economy and join the economic arms race with India. Put the military arms race on the backburner. But I suspect your military will never allow that. A nation cannot survive without taxing its people. Pakistan has the smallest tax net in the region. I don’t think they can afford that. Don’t waste your money training terrorists. They’re just as likely to bomb your own citizens as Indians. Declare a ‘fatwa’ against clerics who preach violence. Recommend

  • Mar 27, 2011 - 12:54PM

    This govt is on its decline, they’re just not potent enough to make things work – they are totally incapable.
    I guess IK will get lots of votes as both ppp and noon are exposed to their very souls and fake promisesRecommend

  • Ahmer Ali
    Mar 27, 2011 - 12:59PM

    Assalam-o-Allaikum Warahmatullah.What the most hazardous economical and financial crises Pakistan is facing now-a-days that our leaders want to get more loan to retire previous loans and our leaders are claiming that Pakistan’s and its nation’s economical conditions are getting better.What the shameful attitude is our leaders have been before the nation.How much more our corrupt leaders shall trap Pakistan and its nation in IMF’s imprisonment?When these loans shall be retired?How much more expensiveness shall be increased for getting loans from IMF?When the nation shall rise up from the dreams of carelessness?Recommend

  • bs
    Mar 27, 2011 - 1:06PM

    @Oberoi, You would be right that debt to GDP ratio doesn’t have to be bad, but it is bad if the debt is going to buy military toys, nuclear bombs and missiles instead of nation building and economic development projects. Pakistan is paying the price now for the past sins of accumulating debts from nuke program, missile program and acquisition of high-priced military equipment over the past six decades. Its military is now consuming 65% of its national budget (counting debt servicing on past military and nuke acquisitions). As long as Pakistan keeps punching above its weight class in its eternal confrontation with India, things can only get worse for Pakistani people. All the Indians have to do is watch Pakistan trying to match India militarily and dig its own economic grave.

    Well, Bhutto did promise that his people will eat grass in order to get nukes and confront India. His prophecy is becoming a reality. No use of complaining now when Pakistan made a deliberate choice to eat grass.Recommend

  • Hammad Ali
    Mar 27, 2011 - 1:11PM

    Yet another failure of the elected government. They are taking us deeper into the economic mess !Recommend

  • Billoo Bhaya
    Mar 27, 2011 - 1:35PM

    @J Oberoi:
    Sir I agree with most of your statement. If I may just add, that a population control program like China, one child per couple, would ramp up the growth rate as resources eating away this growth will diminish. West Pakistan in 1947 had a population of 25 million while East Pakistan was 30 million. We are now 180 million. Russia has a smaller population than us with all the resources and land mass they have. Population explosion at above 3.5-3.7% (India’s less than 1.6%) is putting a stone around Pakistan’s neck. We just don’t have the resources to pull this train forward. We are slipping and sliding on the way down. Allah is not going to come down to fix it. We have to do it ourselves.

    Why don’t MNA’s debate it in Parliament and pass a law. Sad part is Pakistanis are big on talk and little on action. They see the miracle of China and India on our doorstep yet they can’t accept the radical change we have to make. The instruments to resurrect the Pakistani state are there but no one has the guts to implement it. Since Family Laws Ordinance passed by General Ayub there is nothing on the statute book to show anyone has bothered to make it stricter. And if you think that the current lot of the MNAs will do anything you are mistaken. You need an Oliver Cromwell to chop of some heads, and I quote Cromwell’s speech to Rump Parliament on April 20,1653:

    You have sat here too long for any good you have been doing lately … Depart, I say; and let us be done with you. In the name of God, go!

    England’s base for an Empire was laid by Cromwell by laws reducing the power of the King while building a Model Army to fight the English Civil War. It was that army that was used to put down the Irish Rebellion and then let it loose on America, India and Rest of the World. Recommend

  • Finance professional
    Mar 27, 2011 - 2:02PM

    Careful. This is going to be a debt trap for Pakistan which happened to some latin countries earlier. Now it is time for Pak to tighten the belt and ensure the payements are scheduled properly and paid off correctly. I see some serious problems here.Recommend

  • Irfan
    Mar 27, 2011 - 3:28PM

    1.Sign peace treaty with india

    2.Start trading with india as india does with china

    3.Economic trading is a big detterence

    4,reduce defense slowlyRecommend

  • Raj
    Mar 27, 2011 - 3:37PM

    Firstly i understand from another article that the breakdown of Reserves are as follows,
    Out of total 17.5 Billion, 8 billion is borrowed from IMF, 1 billion is loan from Saudi and China, 3.5 billion belongs to Commercial Banks, Leaving net balance in region of 5 billion, just about enough to meet import bills for 90 -120 days if that! !
    The state of affairs in pakistan, are so dire that even if serious measures are implemented now it will take a decade to achieve a reasonable level of growth and economic stability.
    This nation and its people really need to look at themselves in the mirror, rather than live in self denial and blame game mode!! The problems that they face today are not others creations but self inflicted, due to short sighted vision of those in power and complete and utter disregard for basic house keeping!!!
    India does not need to go to war with pakistan as pakistan will disintegrate from within on their current course within a decade.
    So much for those fools who talk about Honour! where is the Honour or ghairat, when you are raping your nation so blatantly and still turn a blind eye or deny that its happening!!!!!!!
    Lastly the American Aid is going to come to an end very soon, as they too have serious economic problems, then where will the money come from? not the Chinese!! as they will want too much in return for their favours!!!Recommend

  • Meekal Ahmed
    Mar 27, 2011 - 4:05PM

    The solution to getting out of the IMF’s clutches is a simple one and most people know what it takes.Recommend

  • Raj
    Mar 27, 2011 - 4:27PM

    @Billoo Bhaya:
    In regards to population control in pakistan, its a non starter, i believe. My understanding
    is that the muslims are taught to trust in Allah and breed, as Allah will provide for them!!!!
    Unfortunately in UK its not Allah who provides for them, but sadly the State thru Taxpayers money.
    As majority of these people enjoy the benefit system to the fullest and yet are reluctant to make any effort to integrate within the society.Recommend

  • Mar 27, 2011 - 4:31PM

    Hello people! No point blaming the government, when a vast majority of people dont want to pay their taxes. Recommend

  • Amir
    Mar 27, 2011 - 5:37PM

    I think its ripe time for indian govt and bureaucracy to play mind games!!

    we should openly talk about unification with pakistan.

    Most of pakistanis i know, want to be with india; somehow wants to get rid of their corrupt politicians and immature democracy marred by tyrant armed forces!!

    1.India should use the soft media to play Track 2 =>Chaman ki Aasha!
    2.Take MQM on our side.MQM is the only party which supports indian stance as they represent muslims from india who are still proud of indian heritage

    3.Sharif and zardari are also sellable in market!So lets buy them with a couple of million dollars.

    4.ANP is one of the most indian supporter and so are jamait islami and so are the other muslim party.Recommend

  • Moise
    Mar 27, 2011 - 6:28PM

    @Irfan:
    Get rid of debt. It is the only way out.Recommend

  • Babar
    Mar 27, 2011 - 6:56PM

    Cut the military expense by half and you can lend money to other needy countries after paying all your debts. Recommend

  • Moise
    Mar 27, 2011 - 7:10PM

    @Amir:
    Oceans don’t flow into rivers.Recommend

  • Cautious
    Mar 27, 2011 - 7:13PM

    Here’s a thought – why not raise your taxes and pay off your own debt?Recommend

  • Cosmo
    Mar 27, 2011 - 7:31PM

    Pakistan make sure you keep supporting the Kashmir militants, may be that will help reducing your national debt.Recommend

  • Musthaq Ahmed
    Mar 27, 2011 - 7:33PM

    @Irfan:
    The buck stops with Army and Intelligence agencies. Pakistan is running an ambitious experiment in fiscal management drawing upon military gambling . Minions of IMF cannot touch Pakistan as long as Uncle Sam is in good health. And Pakistani medieval society can feed on itself literally and otherwise. Recommend

  • vasan
    Mar 27, 2011 - 7:46PM

    Amir
    No Thanks. No unification talks please. Cricket diplomacy is enough. Recommend

  • Moise
    Mar 27, 2011 - 7:47PM

    @Babar:
    Cut the interest payments to vulture banks.Recommend

  • Bangash
    Mar 27, 2011 - 8:15PM

    What a basketcase economy Pakistan is.Recommend

  • Ravi
    Mar 27, 2011 - 8:26PM

    @Amir:
    a unified india + pakistan will have nearly 45 to 50 crores of muslims and they will be in majority.
    What ever developement you see happening in india right now is because of secular hindus and not muslims.
    Look what muslims have done to pakistan.
    Infact no muslim country in the world has progressed because of the backward looking majority they have.
    So nobody in india wants pakistan to merge back to india.
    Put this deep into your head.
    And if you want we can gift you 10 – 15 crores muslims to you and give our couple of lakhs hindus left in pakistan.
    I bet we will be developing even faster.Recommend

  • pakeco
    Mar 27, 2011 - 9:09PM

    depleting foreign reserves followed by austerity measures is the answer
    overseas pakistanis with deposits in pakistan are at huge risk of their money getting devaluedRecommend

  • Live & let us live.
    Mar 27, 2011 - 10:13PM

    Ravi_

    spot on man.
    Theres no way in hell we deal with more mullaz.

    Recommend

  • Raj
    Mar 27, 2011 - 10:15PM

    @Ravi : You are being too generic. Who are you to decide the nationality of the Indian Muslims. Majority of the Muslims of India are Indians through and through. The Hindus of Pakistan should also behave in the same manner and they should be true to Pakistan as that’s what they have chosen or that is the only option they are left with during partition by our leadership. Religion should not determine the nationality. I know that a small percentage of the Indian Muslim population still prefer Pakistan over India, but that number is decreasing with each year. And those who are left it’s high time for them to change their attitude and integrate with the mainstream Indian society. The government should be actively involved in facilitating the same and so should the common Indian in their respective regions. If even after all such effort, some individuals feel differently they should courageously declare the same, surrender their Indian passport and migrate to the land of their dreams and the rest of the citizens should accept their decision in a dignified manner. Recommend

  • Asad Khan
    Mar 27, 2011 - 10:16PM

    @Ravi:
    Same Idiotic Hindu tunnel and etremist terrorist mentality. LOL…
    All Muslim countries have OIL.. and going millions of terrorist Hindus are working in UAE and Saudi Arabia which are Budhist countries I suppose? And these Rotten Indians take pride to go to these countires as if they are going Heavens to make money. These Hypcrites Indians are the main cause of division of India. But Now that it is divided, No Pakistani would Like to be aprt of this Idiotic ation anyway. What an idion Nation!Recommend

  • Khalid Rahim
    Mar 27, 2011 - 10:26PM

    Since this government has been in power, how many governors has the State bank seen off in
    a hurry. They all and the present Governor have tried their best to make President Zardari and the Prime Minister understand unless they cut their government’s unnecessary expenditure it will
    be difficult to repay the IMF loans in time and reduce fiscal debt.Haji Bektash of whom none in
    this government nor President Zardari has any inkling who he was, has this to tell them;
    ‘ For him who has perception, a mere sign is enough.
    For him who does not really heed, a thousand explanations are not enough.Recommend

  • Raj
    Mar 27, 2011 - 11:17PM

    @Asad Khan:
    As you seem to be well travelled and enlightened, how come you forgot to mention that pakistani origin population in europe do not integrate and loves to live on state aid and benefits of the system which they have never contributed any taxes & insurance payments to?
    Oh yes ofcourse i forgot pakistanis do not believe in taxes!!!!!
    Come back in few months time and see where the whole economy stands in pakistan and also see how much begging and pleading is required on behalf of pakistan to even get funds to serbice their financial commitments!!!!!
    At least the indians are working for their bread and butter and depending on host country to survive!!!!Recommend

  • Cautious
    Mar 28, 2011 - 12:23AM

    You have money for nukes – big army which doesn’t engage terrorist – not enough money to help your own people when disaster hits and not enough money to even fund your own debt. Maybe you need to re-prioritize things. Recommend

  • Singh
    Mar 28, 2011 - 4:12AM

    Ravi/Asad Khan or like, are thorn in rear of peace between two country. Seeking ill for other is seeking ill for ourselves.
    Aam adami want food on their table. Only way out to progress is open the market on both side. Let Indian money play into KSA or vise versa. Let people meet each other. Any hot head Mullah or party be gag from issuing fatwa against any human being. By investing into each other India can achieve more than 12% growth by bringing Pakistan along with it on path of growth. Idle mind is evil mind. When people have work to do every day then they don’t have time to listen any religious crap from anybody. Our future generation deserve better than us what we have in last 63 year.
    In US we think, dream for child future & their child future not for ourselves. So please give a chance to peace & harmony for next 25 year to see the result.
    Oh on topic of loan, you can research NO country become develop with help of IMF.Recommend

  • Mujtaba Abid
    Mar 28, 2011 - 4:31AM

    our generations are in debt !Recommend

  • Ajay
    Mar 28, 2011 - 7:10AM

    @M. N. Barlas:
    Pakistan’s Great Military has mortgaged Pakistan’s soverignity by grabbing bulk of its funds for defence and its brassforce upkeep instead of protecting it. Not only this they ensured Pakistan kept borrowing by being hand in glove with madraasah trained Taliban and the feudal elites who have been draining the exchequer to maintain their lordly ways of life. Not just draining but making sure that lwas sre such that they don’t have to pay taxes.

    What a country!Recommend

  • Kiran
    Mar 28, 2011 - 7:19AM

    One of the biggest misconceptions doing the rounds in Pakistan is the impression that somehow Musharraf had the magic wand for the economy. Nothing is farther from the truth. He deftly managed to reschedule all loan repayments so that for a few years, the loan money was coming in but there was no repayment liability. This made it seem like the economy was growing robustly.
    The present government had to deal with unprecedented floods, rampant terrorism and possibly the worst global recession in 30 years. All the backed up loan repayments became due. Runaway inflation resulted from all the above factors. They are not responsible for any of those catastrophes. I am no Zardari fan. But let the truth be told. Recommend

  • Kiran
    Mar 28, 2011 - 7:25AM

    @Asad Khan:
    Calm down my friend. I would rather have my people working hard for a living than blowing each other up. There is no shame in working for a living – wherever it may be. It beats stretching the arms out for handouts. Your hatred is depriving you of rational thought.Recommend

  • Ajay
    Mar 28, 2011 - 7:52AM

    @Irfan:
    Kayani needs to have you as an advisor!Recommend

  • Ajay
    Mar 28, 2011 - 7:56AM

    @Nation Prevails:
    Humiliating?? They know they can’t go against Pakistan !??

    The truth is they know they can take care of Pakistan but when they see that Pakistani’s are trying their best to charm them behind the scenes- be it military, civil or opposition- they don’t see any rush to use Plan B which would be total annihilation of Pakistan. Plan A is still working with many hiccups but now ‘they’ understand the pattern of hiccups and the exact meaning (‘demand’) behind those hiccups. ‘They’ understand every fibre of your psychological makeup.

    Please don’t deceive yourself.Recommend

  • Ajay
    Mar 28, 2011 - 8:01AM

    @Hammad Ali:
    Elected govt or military? Whose fault?Recommend

  • Amir
    Mar 28, 2011 - 12:03PM

    With pakistan being party of india.We will have strict rules on religion.
    Blashphemy,religious party,intolerance will be banned,No woman will be allowed to wear hizab as it is done in turkey!!

    Any party supporting religious lines will be charged!!No kind of extremism will be tolerated!!

    Indian muslims will lecture pakistani counterparts about religious tolerance and communal harmony!!MQM which is a secular party will be given command of pakistan.Altaf bhai will be made prime minister of pakistan provinces.Feudalism will be removed with resolution of constitution of india.All countries who are disrupting region will be overthrown .Afganistan have more respect for india ,and they will have more trust with india as neighbor!Recommend

  • Zahid Hussain
    Mar 28, 2011 - 12:40PM

    Nothing is gonna happen to Pakistan, God Almighty has given us resources and we will servive, however luxury is the only thing lost in the worst case.Recommend

  • Mango Man
    Mar 28, 2011 - 3:51PM

    And how does the govt propose to repay the second loan – take a third!? Pak will implode in a few years if the people and govt does not gets its act together. It is about time you wake up and get real to the scenario on ground.

    The economy needs a big kick to get moving, and fast. Till now, you have had jihadis, next you will have anarchy is basics like food, clothing and shelter go in short supply due to economic crisis! The common man will be most affected and will lead to large scale rebellion.

    It is the lack of vision and sincere commitment of incompetent Pak leadership that has led to this scenario! No point denying reality and seeing conspiracies Recommend

  • Prasad
    Mar 28, 2011 - 5:32PM

    First of all end all confrontation with India and stop playing games in Afghanistan. Pakistan is punching above its weight. Shortly people will starve in Pakistan if nothing is done about it. Rein in the budget and stop trying to match India militarily. I donot think Pakistani army will allow any of these things to happen. So get prepared for Islamic revolution and probably break up of the country. Something has to give.Recommend

  • Nitin
    Mar 29, 2011 - 2:32AM

    @M. N. Barlas:
    mr barlas – on the contrary, there is no such western conspiracy at work here. The pakistani govt had taken the loans from the west out of their own volition. They knew perfectly well what the terms and conditions are. The west did not force Pakistani govt to take the loans. It really does not make sense – first take loans (fully knowing the terms and conditions) and then blame the loaner when you cannot make the payments back. If you want to play blame game, then blame the corrupt leaders and the military for not investing the loans in developmentRecommend

  • Nitin
    Mar 29, 2011 - 2:39AM

    @Asad Khan:
    why don’t you run for the president of Pakistan? and yes, make sure that hamid gul, zaid hamid, ansar abbasi, hafiz saeed are in PM’s cabinet. Nothing would please Indians and the rest of the world more…Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Mar 29, 2011 - 12:08PM

    @Zahid Hussain:
    Please don’t bank on all mighty to solve your problems as he can not come to rescue you from the financial mess your country is in, forget about any luxuries, and aam aadmi do not consider daal, roti and basic medicines as luxuries!!!
    Its rather difficult to survive on hollow promises too.Recommend

  • Ali Tariq
    Mar 31, 2011 - 4:15PM

    Dear all

    I have read most comments and I am happy to see many extreme point of views though with lack of substantial facts and figures. In my opinion Pakistan’s economic situation is not as bad as some of you might think. I am not in favor of the high debt situation though it is not an emergency scenario.

    However the emergency scenario lies with the building of the character at the individual level and at the societal level. I ask you all how many of you tell your children or people who are around you that evading taxes is stealing from the government? And according to Islam the punishment is well known and understood among all of you I assume. When did we last teach our future generation about the good things Muslims have brought to humanity. The examples of a Salahuddin Ayubi or a Qasim or Ibn-e-Khaldun. You see the thing is with the whole sub-continent that we lack the basics of a powerful society.

    To my Indian friends: please do not feel so happy about the GDP growth rate of your country. The inequality of that growth rate is evident and the problems of (present day) India are far more complex and difficult to resolve than that of Pakistan. Your country faces similar problems to that of Pakistan. The only difference is size which has a direct impact on resource availability and market size.

    Bottom line: Change can come either from the top as is the case of China/Singapore/Malaysia or it can come from the bottom like in France/USA…….I suggest the latter model for Pakistan and the earlier model for India purely because of Population differences. It will take Pakistan less time to properly educate its people than India when the reforms start at the bottom. At the moment both countries have not started in the right direction.Recommend

More in Pakistan