TAYA KI BAITHAK EPISODE 41
Citizens of Pakistan are facing inflation, poor governance, increasing debt on the country and growing uncertainties. Till now Pakistan was getting a lot of funding through which it was financing terrorism, but now those funds are being curbed under intense pressure from FATF. Rest of the world is watching Pakistan closely in this regard. Pakistan is unable to repay its debt and is on the brink of defaulting on many of these. Recently, Pakistan has taken loan from Saudi Arabia which has to be returned on a notice of 72 hrs. Pakistan has surrendered its sovereignty in that the lenders can confiscate Pakistani assets anywhere in the world. Petroleum levy is being done under pressure from these lenders. Pakistan is importing vehicles, their spare parts and fuel from borrowed money and a fake narrative of growth is being built. Prices of fuel, LPG, train tickets etc are likely to go up in future. Prices of petroleum products are not be reduced even if the world prices are reduced because the establishment is hell bent on extorting money from the public. Imran Khan has admitted that Pakistan is facing the largest fiscal deficit and current account deficit of all times. Had it not been bailed by Saudi Arabia, UAE and China, they would have defaulted on their loans. It does not have any reserves to stem the declining Pakistani Rupee.
Pakistan which is already reeling under the burden of loans is now planning to meet its defense expenditure through fresh loans. Pakistani defense and political establishment have used each other for various gains since long. The Army is known to crown puppets as political leaders and the politician gains by concurring with Army blindly on every issue. Gen Bajwa is trying to put in place a new political system and it is but natural that Imran Khan will try to save his chair. However, circumstances seem to be going against both. Army is raking up issue of foreign funding against Imran Khan’s party Tehrik-e-Insaaf. In last five years, Tehrik-e-Insaaf has raised funds to the tune of 164 crores. As per the data submitted to the scrutiny committee, this figure was not fully disclosed to the authorities and was under-reported to the tune of 31 crores. Similarly, 12 declared and 53 undeclared bank accounts are being operated by the party which is also under scrutiny, putting Imran Khan under immense pressure.
The growing chasm between the Pakistan Army and civil establishment is indicative of an unpleasant future for the country. While Imran Khan is planning to extend the tenure of Gen Bajwa, the opposition is opposing this tooth and nail. The appointment of Gen Nazib Anjum who was Genral Bajwa’s choice, as ISI chief had to be approved by Imran Khan much against his own wishes. There are rumours of a secret deal between Nawaz Sharief and Gen Bajwa and Imran Khan is aware of this development. It is due to Gen Bajwa that Nawaj Sharief is likely to return to Pakistan.
Differences have cropped up between the Pakistani and Afghan establishment in respect of border fencing. This is a true case of reaping what one sows. Today, Pakistan is facing increasing difficulty with Taliban in Afghanistan and simultaneously, TTP is creating difficulties for them inside Pakistan. The 1893 accord between Afghanistan and the then India is considered by the current Afghan people as having been thrust upon them. Afghans consider the current demarcation of boundary as having divided the Pashtuns demographically and geographically between them and Pakistan. Mulla Omar of Afghanistan had categorically stated the Durand Line to be non-acceptable. Also, while the Pakistan Army is dominated by Punjabis, the Afghan Taliban militia is primarily Pashtuns. For centuries, they have not seen eye to eye on any subject. NWFP, FATA and portions of Baluchistan would come under lot of stress in the situation of confrontation between Pak and Afghan establishments. Afghan establishment would encourage increasing influence of TTP in Pakistan whom they control. It is a long way for Afghanistan to start providing strategic depth to Pakistan. Afghanistan has not taken kindly to Pak’s obstacles created to prevent Indian aid in the form of 50000 MT of wheat from reaching Afghan public. The only hope of Pakistan in Afghanistan is Haqqani network. However, Haqqanis are primarily Pashtuns and they would consider their own interests in Afghanistan before taking any decisions.
As far as J&K is concerned, on one hand Pakistan wants peace with India for next hundred years while on the other, it is training and dispatching terrorists from the launch pads. Another cause for worry is Pak efforts to push in drugs in J&K. Thirdly, Pak financial support to terrorism through drug money is also major cause of concern. The net is now being cast wider, to include Punjab and Rajasthan.