What Does 2023 Hold for Pakistan?
In just the last two months, significant political harm has been done to the government, to major institutions and their reputations, as well as to the general elite. This is a direct result of the issues posed by inflation and the additional drastic deterioration of consumer capabilities. Hina Anwar believes that the comparative economic advantage of Pakistan’s rivals (e.g. India) will further pull the country into political and economic crises. Such crises are likely to manifest in the short term, as a fresh wave of terrorist attacks by the TTP, Daesh, and the separatists in Balochistan.
Reality Check: Economic Crisis in Pakistan
Pakistan is currently facing a political impasse, a dwindling economy, surging inflation, escalating terror threats, and the possibility of a worldwide recession. Concerns about the status of Pakistan’s economy are mounting as foreign reserves dwindle, the local currency weakens, and inflation persists at levels not seen in decades. A government exists in Pakistan that is unable to exercise or relinquish power. Bitter, the opposition is sticking to its rhetoric of fire and brimstone. Neither are aware of their ultimate goal. The government avoided a default earlier this month, but now its foreign exchange reserves have fallen to $4.3 billion, the lowest since 2014. Although the finance minister acknowledges that the economy is in a “tough spot”, he simultaneously dismisses fears of Pakistan’s default and calls it propaganda from the opposition. The truth is, the country remains a hair’s breadth away from the bleak prospect.
Pakistan’s Political Circus: PDM, PTI, and the New COAS
The swift and undisturbed appointment of Pakistan’s new Chief of Army Staff (COAS) on 24th November brought an end to what could have been a possible cause of political unrest. Will the change in command at GHQ let go of the past and usher in a new era of civil-military relations?