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Pak pays the price for jehad -- Investors and its own people are running scared

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    Pak pays the price for jehad -- Investors and its own people are running scared

    In an article appearing in the latest issue of the popular Pakistani Weekly, The Friday Times, commentator Khaled Ahmed explains how his country's jehad on Kashmir has not only driven away investors but is also forcing an increasing number of Pakistanis to leave the country and delink their fate from the outcome of this jehad which they can't help but support.

    No economist working for the government dare tell the truth about why Pakistanis are not investing in Pakistan. Governor State Bank Dr Ishrat Husain says exporters have not repatriated $ 700 million they earned abroad. This means that an amount larger than our current level of foreign exchange reserves is being kept abroad. Far from investing, Pakistanis don't even want to keep their earnings in Pakistan.

    Our former foreign secretary, Najmuddin Sheikh, has done this in his article `Foreign Policy Imperative' in The News (August 30, 2000). He writes: ``In the last week, the stock market has fallen 17 points to what the brokers are calling resistance line of 1500...It seems that on this occasion the drop reflects an enduring sense of pessimism that pervades the market. As a result, investors have paid little attention to the better-than-expected earnings and dividends reported by some of the companies on the stock exchange and have ignored the generally positive news about the performance of the agricultural sector.''

    He goes on to tell us that the rupee fell by 7 per cent of its value within days because the State Bank, strapped for dollars, financed the trade deficit by picking up dollars from the domestic market. Why isn't the economy picking up despite the moratorium on debt-servicing won by us from our western creditors? Foreign assistance stopped after we exploded the bomb in 1998, but so did India; why is India not subject to the same conditions? In fact, if you look at India and its growth rate, one could say that you should explode the bomb for high growth rates.

    Najmuddin Sheikh says Pakistanis are leaving Pakistan in droves. He says many of them are paying $ 150,000 per person to get the business visa which allows them to stay in the US, the UK and Canada. The investors are not investing, but why is the Pakistani man trying to leave the country? Newspapers have reported that since October 1999, approximately 120,000 people have gone out to the West on visas, and many among them will try not to come back.
    Lahore's Passport Office has revealed that it issues 800 passports every day. The US embassy in Islamabad has announced that it gives a thousand visas a day to Pakistanis bound for the US. Other western embassies have a similar rush. All of them have toughened their visa regulations to stem the rising tide of people who no longer want to stay in Pakistan.

    This is much more than just the people's reluctance to put their money into new ventures. Clearly, they no longer want to stay in Pakistan. If you ask them, they can't really explain, except that there are no jobs left in Pakistan. In any case, they can't say what really is behind their desire to leave. They remain tied to the nationalism of their ideological state, having long lost the ability to think on their own. They support the nuclear explosion of 1998 and can't relate their plight to what happened to the economy after that. They think that the Kargil Operation was a victory and should be repeated. They are convinced that India should be confronted militarily and defeated and that Pakistanis should sacrifice their all for the cause of Kashmir. They are not in favour of signing the CTBT because that is supposed to destroy Pakistan's nuclear capability; yet they are leaving for the very countries who are asking Pakistan to sign it.

    One could go on and on. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Lahore recommended forcefully to Nawaz Sharif that he should explode the bomb in 1998 but failed after that to respond to his appeal to invest. Instead, they resented the fact that he had frozen their dollar accounts. They had earlier also not responded to his appeal for dollars to rescue Pakistan's economy from default. Do the members of the Chamber really know why they are reluctant to invest? They don't. They give other reasons, mostly attached to the army, but these reasons were valid in the post-1998 period too when the army was not in power.

    The truth of the matter is that the economy was not picking up since 1990 and not responding to a steady devaluation of the rupee. But after 1998, the members of the Chamber simply adopted a wait-and-see policy and did not invest. Some of them had said that after the nuclear explosion there will be an explosion of economic activity, but what happened immediately after the Chaghai test was closure of Karachi's stock exchange, which has not stopped wobbling since then.




    [This message has been edited by chilli (edited September 23, 2000).]

    #2
    True, but some of it is bull****.
    I don't care to comment as our economy is showing just the opposite of what this guy is saying.

    ------------------
    CROIRE A L'INCROYABLE
    You can't fix stupid. So might as well troll them!

    Comment


      #3
      CM says :
      our economy is showing just the opposite of what this guy is saying.
      ------------------
      r u sure ?

      Comment


        #4
        Am i sure??
        Well can anybody be really sure about anything???
        It is truly a metaphysical question, there should be a philio board here at gupshup.
        Tomorrow, the CE might decide that invest is a waste of time and close off all the boards.
        Nobody can't be sure of anything chilli.
        However there is always HOPE a bastion of light in the eternal mist of life.

        ------------------
        CROIRE A L'INCROYABLE
        You can't fix stupid. So might as well troll them!

        Comment


          #5
          CM says :
          However there is always HOPE a bastion of light in the eternal mist of life.
          --------------------

          Now, that's a creative/poetic way to duck a question...

          Comment


            #6
            If you want a real answer here goes:
            The Pakistan economy for once is back on track and is struggling a head.
            It is by no way Chinese 9 to 10% growth rate, but it is getting better.
            This year i will predicts a 5% growth rate way higher from last time.
            Our exports have increased so far.
            Imports will be less as very few countries want to sell us any thing due to our nuclear tests.
            Our fishing industry - one of the underutilised in the world - only exports 5%, which could be brought up to 50%.
            The aim for the next 3 years is to bring it to 25%.
            This year it has gone up by 2.5% so far.
            With invest increasing compared to NS period, we truly have a better chance at the economy.
            So my point is that am i sure - no nobody can very be 100% sure on any thing.
            Am i optimistic? - very!!
            Do i believe our economy is doing well - hell yeah.
            Now do you understand??

            ------------------
            CROIRE A L'INCROYABLE
            You can't fix stupid. So might as well troll them!

            Comment

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