FoDP – a group that will immediately dissipate when NATO and the US pull out of Afghanistan
Pakistan cannot afford to remain in this US-led mess of a war anymore since the costs on all fronts are too great
IMF and the economic managers imposed on us will lead Pakistan further down the road to economic disaster
20 July 2010.
Apparently, there was an agreement to start implementing the Integrated Energy Sector Recovery Report. However, the real point was once again missed by the FoDP and it would seem by the Pakistani government as well: that unless Pakistan is given the access to the markets of the US and EU, it will continue to suffer economically because of the disastrous US-led “war on terror”.
Already, since 9/11 Pakistan has suffered losses of over $ 43 billion. Even more critical, it has lost 3000 civilians, and 2,550 security personnel as well as over 7000 citizens injured. And no one has tallied up the costs to the environment and the social structures of the country.
In other words, what the Pakistani government should be doing is informing the FoDP that it simply cannot afford to remain in this US-led mess of a war anymore since the costs on all fronts are too great and the main players like the US have failed to live up to any of their commitments. As for the FoDP, they have been holding continuous meetings but nothing substantive has come Pakistan’s way from them. In fact, the IMF and World Bank continue to insist on distortions in our economy that target the poor more than the rich. If anything, the IMF and the economic managers thrust on the country by them will lead Pakistan further down the road to economic disaster and political instability. It is time Pakistan took a hard line posture towards what is fast becoming the farce of the FoDP.
Not that that mere economic assistance would have reduced the costs for Pakistan. Certainly access to markets would have had a more enduring positive spin off. But at the end of the day, what is required is for Pakistan to delink itself from the US-led war against terrorism and devise its own strategies taking into account ground realities so that we can fight our extremist and terrorist threats more effectively. This is what the Foreign minister should have told the FoDP – a group that will immediately dissipate when NATO and the US pull out of Afghanistan, leaving Pakistan with the collateral damage. Already US troops are suffering a major morale problem and June 2010 saw the highest number of US army suicides than in any month since the Vietnam War and things will not improve for the US military. That is why it is desperate to extricate itself from its Afghan mess. It is time Pakistan realized the US game plan and began distancing itself from the US which seeks to shift the centre of gravity of the whole war on to Pakistan and its territory. That is simply unacceptable.
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