IN early May this year, the rupee was trading at 152 to a dollar, but it is now trading at over 172. The depreciation of the currency’s worth by Rs20 within a few months has increased the foreign debt liabilities alone by a whopping Rs2.3 trillion; or Rs10.5 million for each Pakistani. Besides, it is inducing bouts of inflation, the full impact of which is yet to come.

The economic team’s pro-rich policies and appeasement of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have clearly not worked.

It may or may not be a coincidence that when the recent talks were being held with the IMF in Washington earlier this month, the US media leaked a report to the effect that Pakistan would soon be onboard in terms of allowing American forces the use of the air corridor to keep an eye on Afghanistan. There has also been talk of sanctions on Pakistan in the US Senate. All this is aimed at building up pressure on Pakistan.

With all this going on, the government must be feeling the heat which seems to have forced it to lose touch with the pulse of the people. It seems overly dependent on the doctored reports of its advisers who transmit ‘all is well’ messages on a routine basis.

Shoaib A. Majeed
Karachi

Published in Dawn, October 28th, 2021

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