Foreign Powers Blackmail Pakistan Over Flood Aid

Posted by Shireen M. Mazari on Sep 23rd, 2010

Foreign Powers Blackmail Pakistan Over Flood Aid

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  • Foreign powers are exploiting Pakistan’s need for flood aid to force policies that would lead to a collapse. They have already succeeded in forcing on us their handpicked economic managers: Dr. Hafeez Sheikh and Dr. Nadeem ul Haq, Tweedledum and Tweedledee of World Bank and IMF
  • Thanks to PPPP government’s IMF program, very soon we will have a hungry Pakistani nation living increasingly in darkness
  • The latest move by the Shaikh-Haq duo – the Tweedledum and Tweedledee of the IMF – has been to move in on destroying higher education in Pakistan in the public sector 


By Shireen M. Mazari | Published: September 22, 2010
The Nation
Wednesday, 22 September 2010.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—That realpolitik dominates global politics today, as has always been the case, has never been in doubt despite US propaganda post-bipolarity to the contrary. However, for international agencies to use the monumental flood devastation as a means of forcing through their agenda on Pakistan – an agenda that is directly linked to the US-led and misguided ‘war on terror’ – is carrying realpolitik so far as to make it shameful and border on the immoral.

Here is a natural disaster for which even the most corrupt and inept government cannot be blamed – although the Kalabagh Dam could have done some damage control – and yet the international donors in their meetings sought to exploit this disaster for plugging their own agenda. Instead of moving towards fulfilling the pledges sought by the UN in its many appeals, international institutions like the World Bank tried to use the occasion to push for increased taxation – a demand that will only destabilize Pakistan further. But then perhaps that is the covert agenda of the World Bank which is acting along with the IMF to push forward the US ‘war on terror’ agenda?

While individual countries have increased their aid pledges, most of the money promised remains exactly that and little has actually come through.

Coming back to the IMF and World Bank demands (and the two work in tandem so one can safely refer to them collectively), the country is being driven to chaos and eventually defiance on the streets, as the rulers have bowed before their unreasonable diktat.

First, they have thrust their economic managers on Pakistan in the form of the Finance Minister Hafeez Shaikh and the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, Dr. Nadeem ul Haq (an old friend but totally imbued with a right wing capitalist mission instilled in him from Chicago University and his days at the IMF). These two have gone on an IMF-dictated rampage on Pakistan and the results have been disastrous. From constant price hikes in utilities and petroleum products to a targeting of public sector higher education. It is too bad Dr. Haq has forgotten that it was through the public sector that he got his scholarship to Chicago in the first place! Such is the philosophy of free enterprise in the Pakistani context!

Anyhow, if one looks at the price hikes Pakistani consumers have had to suffer on IMF diktat, one will realize how if such impositions were made on people in the developed world, they would be out on the streets; but here is a country ravaged by terrorism thanks to its alliance with the US post-9/11 and struck by a flood of Biblical proportions and the IMF and World Bank demand more price hikes and more taxes – especially in the form of the dubious VAT under the guise of a revised GST! Just a few figures should show the picture most vividly:


  • Sugar prices went up to Rs 90 per kg this month from Rs 57 kg in June and now in most places it stands at Rs 100 per kg (so the poor certainly can’t eat cake in case they are unable to get bread)
  • Price of LPG cylinder (11kg) went to Rs 1200 this month from Rs 900 in June-July; and it is primarily the poor in the rural or other outlying parts of the country that use these cylinders for basic cooking and heating purposes, so we know which group the IMF is targeting with its demands on this count.
  • Kerosene oil has been jacked up to Rs 68.89 per litre this month from Rs 64.81 in August – again the main sufferers will be the poor who use this for cooking purposes.
  • Light diesel price enhanced to Rs 65.76 per litre this month from Rs 62.20 in August – again a fuel used in public transport, so the target sufferers will be the poorer segments of society.
  • Prices of all vegetables and fruits went up almost 50 percent in the last two months – not least because of increased transportation and utility costs.


Can one not see a pattern here of deliberately pushing the masses into a state of anger and eventual revolt which would lead to people coming on the streets and causing further destabilization in the country?

Nor is this all. One of the biggest killers is the never-ending price hikes of electricity. The IMF program this government bought into so stupidly compelled it to increase electricity rates 7.6 percent from April. Add to this, the 1.76 per unit increase in three months (May-July) under the fuel adjustment formula and one can see how the majority may soon have to resort to candles and lanterns although with rising kerosene prices the latter option may soon become a luxury also! Ironically, the government never passes on the benefits of lower fuel prices to the consumers in their electricity bills although the fuel adjustment formula is meant to work under that logic!

So, very soon we will have a hungry Pakistani nation living increasingly in darkness.

That’s not all. The latest move by the Shaikh-Haq duo – the Tweedledum and Tweedledee of the IMF – has been to move in on destroying higher education in Pakistan in the public sector by making it too expensive for the ordinary citizen. It was only after years of struggle that the Universities were able to convince the state that it could not retain its quality professors unless it offered them remunerations at least close to the market rates and the HEC under its last chairman Dr Ata-ur-Rehman introduced the Tenure Track System which stemmed the tide of brain drain from state universities – although it did arouse the ire of the unqualified!

Universities like Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU) in Islamabad also began evening classes for students who could not gain admission on merit, but could pay higher fees. So, both aspects of a public sector university were looked after to some extent: it could generate extra funds and also give access to the poor – especially since QAU has a quota system of admissions for all four provinces.

Now Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum have cut off funding for these public sector universities and told them to raise their own finances – which effectively means a major hike in fees which means denying access to the majority of the population. This is nothing short of a criminal act and the Supreme Court not only needs to take suo moto notice of what is surely an unconstitutional move as well, but also needs to impose strict punishment on the Shaikh-Haq duo for seeking to deny the public fair access to public sector higher education.

Granted that education standards are not even in these universities or even desirable across the board, but they do provide some level of higher education and what is required is improvement not cutting off access for the majority of the country’s youth. Having taught for 16 years at QAU, I know the difference the access to even this limited education made to the lives of those from the far-flung corners of the country who gained admission on the quota system. Incidentally, what was the HEC demanding? Rs 15 billion and the government has committed Rs 30 billion for the Steel Mills to rescue it from the mess greedy individuals have created!

What the Shaikh-Haq team is seeking is a nightmare for anyone concerned with the future of Pakistan. There comes a time when hard decisions must be made and it is time we cut the IMF-US chord, sent their Tweedledum and Tweedledee back to their US egg nests and looked inwards to our indigenous demands and solutions.


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5 Responses for “Foreign Powers Blackmail Pakistan Over Flood Aid”

  1. Tariq says:

    Shireens articles are very intersting, and i find myself wishing people like this were in charge of Pakistan instead of the puppets. However i find the solutions if they are proposed are not clear, and not joined up.

    Also what NC is missing is that the solution has to be integrated, we cannot go around with sticking plasters forever. No doubt his people are doing good work on the ground, but that is not good enough. We have to fix the cause of these disasters as well as the symptoms.

    The western system ( capitalist) is intrinsically anti-Islamic. Western institutions naturally rig the system for their own benefit. They follow darwinism, in which altruistic policy has no room. This is not compatable for muslims.
    China, India, and Russia, installed protectionist systems from the top predator, the west. That is how they have avoided being eaten. However our rulers have invited them in 100% to feast on their own people, taking 10% for themselves.
    The idol of democracy itself does not grant progress, it should be smashed, and Islam implemented in its place. 800 years of Islamic Spain is proof enough.

  2. NC says:

    By the way, Pakistanis have never paid for electricity anyway, they just illegally tether onto the nearest wire … so what difference does a rate hike make? The system has been broken for a long time.

    The cost increases can be justified by a number of things, not least of which is the difficulty of getting any transport in Pakistan now. You have 10M people who have to be fed by helicopter.

    Now, in a humanitarian situation I would agree that these costs should be absorbed, but again I go back to the question — you criticize the US so much who is the main provider of aid. Where are the other Islamic countries and are you judging them? Saudi Arabia throws money at the problem, but are they solving anything? Do they have feet on the ground doing the work? The answer is no.

    Your whole post ignores the good work that a lot of people are working, as a weak attempt at stirring up Pakistani nationalism. You might try for a little balance in the future, as the fact remains that the bulk of the participants coming to Pakistan’s aid are doing it for all the right reasons.

    Lastly, what have YOU done to help?

  3. NC says:

    Tell me, where are the rich Islamic countries with their aid and their helicopters? Your hypocrisy blinds you.

  4. Tariq says:

    Its the same old story, there is no such thing as a free lunch under capitalism, only a suicide pill with a sugar coating.
    Until we realise the solutions to life must come from Islam, not the wests fanciful democracy, Pakistan will be doomed. We need to unlock these western shackles, and establish independent Islamic Solutions. Islamic government, Islamic economics, islamic media, and Islamic armed forces. The sincere muslim military sons of the Ummah should do their duty, and support this . 800 years of Islamic Spain is proof of the progress we could make.

  5. ABBASI says:

    This should not surprise anyone! Indeed this ploy is just another step of a well thought out PLAN to hurt Pakistan and Pakistanis as much as could be possible within the shortest period, because no one is sure how long these puppits would remain on stage to provide unhindered service and cover to the active enemies of Pakistan.

Leave a Reply to ABBASI