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Perilous neighborhood of Pakistan and its economic hopes and hurdles

He was transferred to a military ambulance that broke down after running a few paces. It took two hours to replace it and by this time the oppressive heat and swarm flies had exhausted Jinnah (Father of the Nation). He passed away in dignity after reaching his official residence. His absence left an agonizing imprint on the future course of Pakistan, something that he, himself feared but could do little to prevent. Beverly Nicolas described Jinnah as a person who was equipped with “a great deal that hangs on the silk cord of that monocle.” He further postulates that absence of Ghandi would be quickly filled by Nehru, Rajagopalachari, or Patel. But if Jinnah goes who is there? Pakistan is indeed a hard country. Losing the captain of the ship right after it was set to sail was the initiation of myriad of complications this infant country had to face. This made Pakistan vulnerable from all external and internal fronts. Even before its creation, British bureaucracy and the likes of congress leaders used to claim that the “moth-eaten Pakistan” will find it difficult to survive. With only 200 million rupees Pakistan had to dwindle the complication of refugee conundrum, Kashmir issue and propel the decumbent economic activity. The traditional security threat from India and Afghanistan further aggravated the situation. It called for a military expansion that costed 35 million rupees yearly. This propelled the amateur governance to resort to foreign loan and American Military aid.

In short, Pakistan was not well equipped to face the jeopardous pressure from all fronts. Consequently, it had a long-lasting impact on the economy of the country that is still sluggishly proceeding and mostly stagnant, even after eighty years of its creation. But the world is immensely interconnected today, and the geostrategic location of Pakistan engenders the country to develop its regional importance. Allowing it to bring prosperous economic prospects not only for the people of Pakistan but entire Middle East, Central and South Asia. The arduous neighborhood of Pakistan thwarts its economic progression, but it also puts into play prospects that has the sturdiness to fashion it to become a regional economic power.

India’s water terrorism and its impact on Pakistan’s economy

The issue of Kashmir has plunged the country to bite the bullet. It is not only a territorial dispute but also India’s playground to stress Pakistan from its rivers. As most of them flow from the Kashmiri territory, New Delhi has pressed on to espouse the policy of Water Terrorism against Islamabad. It is a bloodless form of war and the primary goal is to suffocate Pakistan. Indeed, water is of prime importance that propels the cycle of economy in Pakistan. For instance, agriculture of the country accounts for 24 percent of national GDP; 48 percent employment and 70 percent of export. It is also notable that agriculture is based on irrigation and the down streaming rivers encompassing through the territory enriches agro-based economy. Dried Indus basin will be catastrophic for the economy of Pakistan. Today India has made IOK an open detention center and addressing the Kashmir Issue is a need of the hour as it threatens the survival of the country. In a nutshell, the stumbling block of Kashmir intimately provides a whiphand to India in perpetuating water terrorism against Pakistan. The bone of contention amid both the countries go beyond a territorial zero-sum game.

The Afghan conundrum and Pakistan’s economic vulnerability

The geostrategic location of Afghanistan is as important as Pakistan’s territory. The country has the potential to connect Central Asia with the world. On top of that, Afghanistan has rich resources that can ripen myriad of economic benefits for the involved stakeholders. Unstable Afghanistan poses a threat to Pakistan and Islamabad has been potently involved in resolve the decumbent Afghan issue. Even though United States has finally been able to conclude its longest war in Afghanistan, the Indian strategic, political and economic dominance in the country will certainly become nightmarish for Islamabad. To sum up, volatile afghan conditions had added on to the aches of Pakistan in the past. It will continue to dwindle the economic progress of the country if the situation does not change.

Strategic alliance with China

All whether amicable relations with China is ray of hope for Pakistan. With vulnerability in the eastern and western front, military and economic alliance with Beijing may perpetuate Pakistan’s economic progress. In other words, joint effort to synthesize a functional economic corridor that passes through Pakistan has the potential to make the country an economic hub in the region. For instance, Pakistan can connect China with oil-rich Middle East and end Beijing’s reliance on strait of Malacca, that is surrounded by American allies. Furthermore, Pakistan can shrewdly act in mediating amid Washington and Beijing that can dwindle the perpetuated trade war between the two global economic giants. By and large, Pakistan’s pacifying relations with china is a treasure chest that can proliferate the country’s economic prospects.

Functionalism of SAARC and SCO

India’s aims to become a superpower is artlessly check-mated by Pakistan’s nuclear capabilities. The flawed sense of hegemontpatron of New Delhi and the country’s bellicosity towards its neighbors abates any success for Institutions like SAARC. On the other hand, economic cooperation between the South Asian countries has the capability to become a global economic powerhouse. For instance, rich resources and colossal population of South Asia can become the most important economic region in the world. Pakistan and its foreign policy can bring this change in South Asia and functionalism of SAARC can ripen myriad of regional benefits. It can optimize Pakistan to become a toll collecting state that connects all of Asia with the Indian Ocean and Middle East with Far-East Asia. Moreover, Pakistan’s permanent membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization can be a step towards dwindling tensions amid India and Pakistan. Hence, there is an aggrandized potential of economic cooperation between the two countries that encompasses through these regional international institutions.

Conclusion

To conclude, Pakistan plunges in an agonizing sphere due to the unresolved matters within its vicinity. What needs to be indoctrinated is the fact that despite having an arduous past, the country survived. It marks its eightieth year and strongly faced myriad of complications. The aftermaths of losing the greatness of Jinnah upset the apple cart for progress, but the country dexterously resolved the external and internal threats, all the solutions turned out to be a breeding ground for newer challenges, but the people of Pakistan spearheaded through them. The onus of volatile Pakistani economy is on its perilous external threats and relations. Whether it is water terrorism by India, or destabilization in Afghanistan, Pakistan has the sturdiness to perpetuate its stance. This showcases that the country is capable to resolve these stumbling blocks. There are myriad of prospects of economic cooperation that can outshine the fire around the territory of Pakistan. Hence, re-imagining the importance of SAARC and proliferating the country’s involvement in Shanghai Cooperation Organization may engender Pakistan to become an economic regional power. Pakistan’s eighty-year history rebuts the expostulation of those in the past that claimed the “moth eaten country may not survive.” And Jinnah’s dream for a prosperous Pakistan is yet to come.

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