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Changing global dynamics and Pakistan

December 08, 2012

MR Sakib Sherani’s article ‘Crude dynamics’ (Nov 30) is an eye-opener. In a decade or so and certainly not more than three decades, America’s dependence on imported oil will end.

The US will no longer need Gulf states oil. American technology of oil extraction has endured this. Also, the need to divert bio-fuels for production of oil will disappear.

This will be good news for food prices, and the ordinary people everywhere will be able to afford cheaper foodstuff.

A sea change is taking place. Those who had written off the US will learn that it is indeed a blessed country.

This prosperity will enable the US to repay national debt and the dollar will receive great strength.

The implications for the Gulf states are ominous. Their prosperity will be endangered. The immigrant population that, by its sweat and labour, provides the resources for the Middle Eastern growth will have to return home, their services will no longer be affordable.

What this means for Pakistan is something the policymakers have to think long and hard about.

No longer will it be possible to cover deficits through remittances. Of even greater concern will be the policies needed to absorb this labour force and to heal the wounds of the endangered families.

There is a ray of hope. India can cope with this disaster much better and Pakistan can benefit a great deal from Indian trade.

We should bury the hatchet, embrace the Indian miracle and accept India as the senior partner.

It will not be on equal terms. The US will dictate an Indian superiority and we will have to accept it. This applies even to Kashmir and Afghanistan.

India will lead, and we will have to tag along. But it is not a bad deal if only we can be realistic.