Pakistan nears bankruptcy, yet its Army poaches most of the resources of the nation

As Pakistan nears bankruptcy, patience of foreign lenders wears thin

BY GRAEME SMITH

ISLAMABAD — A terrifying kind of mathematics has become popular among aid workers, analysts and others who spend their lives tracking the fate of Pakistan. It’s a back-of-the-envelope calculation about how the country will get through the coming years without declaring bankruptcy: take the country’s foreign debt ($53-billion), add interest, subtract the $1.8-billion that won’t arrive as scheduled on Jan. 1 from the International Monetary Fund because Islamabad failed to meet loan conditions. Add the staggering cost, perhaps $10-billion, of rebuilding after summer floods.

The numbers seem bleak. The government floated the possibility last week of running a deficit for the coming year of $15-billion.

Islamabad’s latest plan to raise revenue, a reformed tax law, has become bogged down by stubborn opposition parties, front-page criticism and street protests. The cabinet’s economic team is threatening to quit.

Pakistan needs a bailout. But is the country still a good investment?

“That’s the conversation people are having now, about whether you’d be throwing good money after bad,” said Mosharraf Zaidi, a development expert and policy analyst based in Islamabad.

The international community has accused Pakistan of poor financial management for years. Cables recently posted by the website WikiLeaks show a U.S. intelligence official complaining in 2008 about the country’s preference for spending money on strategic military hardware instead of development: “Despite pending economic catastrophe, Pakistan is producing nuclear weapons at a faster rate than any other country in the world.” …

READ MORE : Globe and Mail

MQM killing innocent people says Nawaz Sharif

MUZAFFARABAD: Chief of his own faction of the Pakistan Muslim League, Nawaz Sharif, on Sunday accused the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) of killing innocent people in Karachi.

“MQM killed hundreds of innocent people to avenge the killing of one worker,” he said, while addressing a large gathering of PML-N supporters here at University Ground.

Why were 50 people killed on May 12, 2007 and Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry not allowed to leave the Karachi airport?” the former prime minister asked.

Sharif said that he would bring about a revolution to pull the country out of its present state of instability. He claimed that the Muslim League is the name of a revolution and “I myself am a revolutionary.” …

Read more : The Express Tribune