(May 17, 2019)
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday expressed concern over rising tensions between the US and Iran terming it a great threat to global peace and GDP. The global community should play its role in diffusing tensions otherwise, oil prices can jump beyond $100 a barrel leaving dozens of countries and billions of people vulnerable, he said. The increasing tensions can lead to global unrest, political turmoil and widespread poverty as budgets of all the oil importing countries including Pakistan will take a serious blow, he added.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, and Iran daily export fifteen million barrel of oil through the strait of Hormuz and its closure will result in a global crisis of high magnitude.
The former minister noted that ships and refineries of many countries including KSA, Norway, and UAE have already been hit which has added to the worries of an unprecedented oil price spike. On the other hand, the US continues to squeeze Iran, the military presence is being increased in the region and a plan has been initiated to bring down its oil exports to zero which can result in a clash which will be more damaging than wars in Iraq, Libya, and Syria which the situation will also have an impact on Pakistan.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that Iran is being isolated and its growth rate has been estimated to come down by six percent in the current fiscal which can result in a conflict. He said that EU and other influential countries should play their due role to bring both sides to the table otherwise the world will forget the losses of cold war and trade tensions between the US and China. Pakistan’s fragile economy is to suffer from the struggle between the US and Iran, therefore, a charter of the economy should not be delayed as the country is also facing many issues including FATF.