“Hum se behtar toh Sri Lanka ke log hain jinhone ghairat ka mujahira kiya aur apne nikamme siyasatdanon ko hata diya.” “Hamare siyasatdan toh aur bhi jyada corrupt hain..….Pakistan me bhi Sri Lanka jaisa hi haal hoga.” “Hum par toh China ka karz Sri Lanka se bhi jyada hai… hamara kya hoga?” “China wale kisi ke apne nahin hain, yeh jo 2 Arab dollar humko China ne diye hain who hamare naak se nikalega.” “Hamare corrupt siysatdanon ke gharon ko jala kar unko ko chhittar maar maar kar chowk par latka dena chahiye.”
Such heated statements are being made by common Pakistanis on TV.. Not Surprisingly!
Pakistani leaders and Generals have looted their country to such an extent that today it has foreign reserves sufficient to buy essentials for just five more weeks. IMF is cautious in approving loans to Pakistan because of its poor reputation of pay back. It has also warned Pakistan that if it lends money, the same should not be used to pay back China. The ‘DO MORE’ list of IMF includes things like notable rise of fuel prices and direct taxes. IMF has also called for stringent check on corruption because it is aware that Pakistan administration is one of the most corrupt in the world. Besides its own exchequer it has siphoned off a sizable amount from the CPEC funds, as a consequence, antagonizing China. The proof of the same lies in the fact that while 40 to 50 Billion Dollars have already been invested by China in Pakistan, its economic situation is still pitiable. It will be naïve to think that China will not take back this money from Pakistan. Airports, motorways and many national assets of the country have already been mortgaged by Pakistan to raise funds; thus, the fears of Pakistanis of their country going the Sri Lanka way are not unfounded. People of Pakistan are now discussing if they should emulate the Sri Lankan model of peoples’ coup against their corrupt leaders.
Apart from the corruption and incompetence of its leaders, many other factors are responsible for Pakistan’s poor economic, political and internal situation. The policy of using terrorism as a strategic tool is top in the list. The short sighted leaders of the yore created Taliban to defeat Russians, naively thinking that there will be no spillover effect of the same in Pakistan. They diverted the ‘demobilized’ jehadis to Kashmir but the gun and jehadi culture entered Pakistan forever. Resultantly, radicalization inside Pakistan increased dramatically. Rise of TTP is perhaps the most dangerous fallout of the crooked state policies. Today, TTP has earned itself a position on the negotiating table with the government as equals. TTP has demanded that Pakistan army withdraws from FATA and the merger of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with FATA be rescinded. The Taliban’s victory in Afghanistan not only emboldened TTP but also gave rise to Pashtun nationalism. Pakistan’s premature celebrations on Taliban’s victory were dampened when Taliban became assertive on the borders and TTP started using bases in Afghanistan to attack Pakistani Army. Well… “Abhi toh party shuru hui hai.”
Democracy could not take root in Pakistan due to the comic musical chairs of power between politicians and Army officials. Resultantly, anyone who came to power, squeezed the state coffers and undertook short sighted decisions or played the role of grass on which two elephants fought. The lack of national character, weak intelligentsia, strong Mullah fraternity, regressive education system and obsession with Kashmir also played a major role in weakening the nation. The obsession with Kashmir was used by the Army and successive civilian governments to spend more ex-chequer on guns than butter. Result of all that has today manifested in the shape of impending economic collapse.
The level of incapability of Pakistani leaders is far higher than those in Sri Lanka hence there is more to fear about. The same has already manifested in the form of poor international standing and hyper inflation. Recently, half of the Pakistani population celebrated Eid without sacrificing goats because these were way too expensive. Rates of cooking oil, sugar, meat, wheat and daily needs are going through the roof. So, peoples’ anger against the leadership and comparison with Sri Lankan situation is correct. The situation is ripe for peoples’ rebellion. The ousted Prime Minister has already shown his ability to rally people and it is possible that he may take advantage of the impending bankruptcy and extreme inflation to fan the fire of discontent and fish in troubled waters.
In spite of the muddle, ISI and Pakistan Army still spend approximately 80 billion dollars annually to run their treacherous proxy war in Kashmir. Recently, on instructions from the IMF, Pakistan’s defense budget has been reduced by 72 Billion. Clearly, the IMF has done its mathematics well.
The economic time bomb in Pakistan is ticking and people are heard saying – mat bolo Pakistan Zindabad; Bolo Pakistan se zinda bhaag.