Pakistanis are getting increasingly poor, growth rate is constantly shrinking. Foreign influence is increasing in Pakistan, obeying creditors is the only option. Ambassadors of some countries have become viceroys.

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(July-26-2023)

Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain said on Wednesday that Pakistanis are becoming poorer rapidly.

The countries we helped a lot some decades ago have become very rich, while Pakistan’s economic decline has been going on for several decades, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that due to the economic downturn, the dependence on international institutions and lending countries has increased, therefore their interference in internal matters is also increasing.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that due to the scarcity of resources and continuous borrowing, the country’s interests have to be sacrificed.

He informed that the ambassadors of many countries have become like viceroys in Pakistan, and this situation cannot continue for long.

Prime Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif, who has personally saved Pakistan from default by persuading the IMF for a three billion dollar standby programme, is also emphasising the need for fundamental economic reforms, he added.

The business leader said that Pakistan has lagged far behind the countries that set development goals with Pakistan’s help.

Pakistan’s economy has shrunk to 377 billion dollars, which is ten times less than the Indian economy, and due to political uncertainty, it is unlikely to change its condition in the next few years.

He observed that Pakistan’s GDP per capita has fallen to 1600 dollars, which is 1000 dollars less than Bangladesh, which is deprived of many important resources.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that Pakistan’s importance is steadily declining, and it is widely believed that those running the country are neither interested in reforms nor want to put the country back on track.

Therefore, no organisation or country is ready to give us a grant; rather, they prefer to  give loans with strict conditions and always demand something important in return, due to which even profitable businesses are being sold while loss-making enterprises are being paid 800 billion rupees so that they can live.

Now every Pakistani is paying 71% capacity charges in the electricity bill, due to which Pakistan has become the most expensive electricity producing country in the world.

Now the lending countries to Pakistan also look at the IMF programme first because they are fed up with giving loans to Pakistan. At one time, Pakistan’s relations with the Middle East and Gulf countries were better than those of India, but now India has taken the lead here as well.

He informed that a friendly country played an important role in improving relations between Pakistan and India and also pressed for the establishment of trade relations between the two countries, which the former army chief agreed to, but the then prime minister did not allow the trade to begin.

The decision of the former PM was taken as a golden opportunity by the mafia and hoarders to extract the maximum out of the masses already facing high inflation, who paid a heavy price for this irrationality.

Some friendly countries are still ready to de-escalate tensions between Pakistan and India and give guarantees, and the business community hopes that the current government, the caretaker government, and the incoming elected government, together with Pakistan Army Chief General Asim Munir, will ensure necessary reforms to stabilise the economy.

We hope that they will give priority to geo-economics over geo-politics to prevent Pakistan from becoming a totally failed state.

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