With the country drowning in debt, a mere 2 months of imports worth of foreign reserves, currency being the weakest it’s been in decades and security issues around the disputed area Kashmir, the future seems bleak for Pakistan.
July 2018 saw the election of a new political party, the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf (Movement for Justice). This followed the imprisonment of the previous Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, over corruption charges. Imran Khan, the country’s new leader and last hope has a lot on his hands, inheriting a slew of social, political and economic issues.
Khan is the only man in the nation who has the privilege of claiming the occupation of the two most important roles in Pakistan, cricket team captain and Prime Minister. Having been in the public eye for so long during his athletic career and winning the hearts of many by bringing home the world cup, Khan does hold a special place in the hearts of many Pakistanis.
Though criticised by many for his lack of experience in the realm of politics, Khan finally succeeded 22 years after founding his party. His main selling point, cracking down on corruption. He promises to bring Pakistan back to the model for developing countries it was during the 1970’s and restore trust in the government.
There is no lack of issues Pakistan has to deal with at the moment. In addition to the economic issues, relations with their nuclear neighbour, India took a turn for the worse. Although during is inaugural speech, Khan expressed his wishes to strengthen ties with India, after the attack on Indian forces in Kashmir on the 14th of February, things don’t seem so hopeful. 44 Indian troops were murdered in an act of terrorism on the Indian administered side of Kashmir. The Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has been very open in blaming Pakistan for the incident, “Our neighbouring country – which is facing a major economic crisis – thinks that it can ruin India with such a catastrophe”.
Despite all this, Pakistan is showing some signs of improvement. Funding has been secured through deals with China, UAE and Saudi Arabia. An agreement with the IMF for a multibillion support package is also underway. British Airways has announced they will be resuming flights through Pakistan in June this year; Air France has also expressed similar interests. Overseas investment seems to be on a steady rise and tax authorities in Pakistan have been cracking down on corruption more so in recent times. Regardless, only time will tell what lies for Pakistan.