The paradigm shift in diplomatic bilateral relations between Islamic republic of Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia embracing each other as friends after a protracted reign of hostilities, inevitably under the profound influence of Peoples Republic of China, regrettably has not given a lesson to Islamabad which continues to reel under the shadow of political, economic, and social anarchy. Astoundingly the East Pakistan now known as Bangladesh has surpassed Pakistan in a strong economic growth and political consistency even though being an over- populous country with lesser territorial area than Pakistan. Indian economy has too grown niftily and is on right tract under the BJP rule; the political consistency is much better than the recent past.
As per the reports of Asian Development Bank the current economic growth of India is 6.5% in FY 2023 which is expected to grow to 6.7% in FY 2024. Despite the fact Congress win in Karnataka has set the bells ringing in BJP cadres and even though it loses a couple of state elections to Congress in coming future the politico- economic placidity would not be affected; courtesy democratic system where as all democracy determining constitutional laws are abandoned in Pakistan trimming down supreme court of law to a defunct mode by the Army backed PDM rule. The IMF has lowered its forecast for Pakistan’s economic growth rate from 2 per cent to just 0.5 per cent for the current fiscal year, amid high inflation and a growing unemployment rate in the cash-strapped country. There is a mayhem seen with the economy of the Military centric country which defaulted badly and is in desperate search for foreign funding and investment to keep up her development projects. The important fiscal stake holders in Pakistan, the Saudi Arabia, Arab Emirates, Qatar, China and the US have time and again declined to give a renewed financial healing touch to Islamabad’s bruised economy owing to political inconsistency, continuing anarchy and worst human rights abuse.
The United States which Pak-Army beholds its victor has thwarted and discomfited Islamabad in her attempts to persuade IMF for a fresh loan. Interestingly the Islamabad’s all weather friend China too has sharply declined to offer a fresh loan despite the fact two Pak-Military chiefs, General Bajwa and then General Munir have paid visits to Beijing. China’s main concern is CPEC in Pakistan which is almost dysfunctional since Army backed PDM came to power April last year. China is desperately keen on building a Central Asia limb of CPEC passing through Afghanistan but instability and political dust-up in Pakistan between PDM- Military establishment and PTI led by Imran Khan turning gradually into a civil war like situation, has rendered Beijing incapacitated.
The US is closely monitoring developments in Pakistan lest it may lean completely towards Beijing. The main political wish of Washington is seemingly to maintain a status-quo in vexed Pakistan so as to prevent China from restarting normal CPEC business and to begin its extension in to Central Asia. Beijing too understandably is very cautious about a direct US role in Pakistan’s internal developments. Making calls repeatedly to Islamabad to reach upon a political settlement and national consensus for restoring electoral democracy and yielding to Public volition so that chaos and uncertainty is replaced by a conducive environment for foreign investment and successful economic campaigns in that country.
Attempts made to assassinate Imran Khan unsuccessfully was followed by successive attempts to arrest him but made to fail by public uprising and foreign intervention. The situation has made King Mohammad bin Salman and King Zayed of Emirates dissociate themselves from helping the Islamabad’s hobbling economy to be erected. The observers believe that Middle East country’s non-cooperation in funding Pakistan is a Beijing driven policy. The Britain has ostensibly kept silent on Pakistan’s political developments but it is believed to be covertly backing PDM government versus PTI in the recent spate of political awkward quandary. This has inevitably made London based Nawaz Sharief to execute plans and policies against Imran Khan quite comfortably, although his visit to Saudi Arabia for his support has reportedly failed in the past. MBS of Saudi Arabia is learnt from trustworthy sources to have threatened Pakistan of keeping in abeyance the Road to Mecca mega project involving 60 Billion expenditure from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia via Iran and Iraq. He has also refused to bail out Pakistan through 1 Billion package from IMF.
Iran and the Arab monarchical nations are witnessing a new dawn of socio-politico-economic cooperation that is believed to entirely change the scenario particularly in the field of robust defense technology and scientific technology under the guidance of the godfather - the Republic of China. This has duly annoyed US policy makers who no longer predict end of US influence in the region. Islamabad continues to oscillate between the US and Chinese camps with brewing public unrest and political ferment amid economic bankruptcy back at home. Even war torn Afghanistan under the Taliban rule is looking serene and much peaceful ready for economic co-operation with China, the Gulf and also Pakistan. India has already joined hands in economic co-operation with Kabul.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.