By Jeffrey Franks (Version in اردو) Following my most recent visit to Pakistan I noticed there seem to be many different and contradictory views about the government’s reform agenda supported by the IMF program. This piece addresses some of the key concerns on people’s minds. 1. The IMF dictated the content of the program. The government mostly […]
It is hard not to feel some sympathy for Pakistan’s current energy deficit problems, which are both severe and increasing. The U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration notes in its “country analysis” on Pakistan, “Pakistan’s economy has continued to struggle with underemployment, slow economic growth, and high inflation. Pakistan’s inability to meet domestic energy demand has […]
The recent visit of Pakistan’s Prime Minister in Beijing led not only to mutually beneficial trade and investment deals. It also heralds China’s rebalancing in South Asia. “Our friendship is higher than the Himalayas and deeper than the deepest sea in the world, and sweeter than honey,” Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told his Chinese […]
The Pew research organization (see http://www.pewglobal.org/2012/06/27/pakistani-public-opinion-ever-more-critical-of-u-s/?src=prc-newsletter, from which these data are taken), conducted public opinion polls in 20 countries, including Pakistan, in the spring of 2012. Using a Pakistani polling company, more than a thousand Pakistanis across the country were interviewed by Pakistanis. The results are startling. Pakistani views of the U.S. are overwhelmingly negative. […]
Pakistan is in an uproar over U.S. violations of Pakistani sovereignty. They are furious over the flight of the SEALs to Abbotabad for the Bin Laden raid and the continued U.S. missile attacks against militants in North Waziristan with inevitable civilian casualties. The U.S. is in an uproar over Pakistan’s shielding Bin Laden and other militants. U.S. Pakistan relations are at their lowest level ever. The U.S. has threatened to end more than $3 billion per year of military aid. The Pakistanis have threatened to end U.S. transit routes from Karachi through Pakistan to supply international forces in Afghanistan.
After over fifteen years on the drawing-boards, the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project was approved by the four countries’ leaders, meeting in Ashgabat in December. While the intergovernmental agreement naturally depends upon follow-on negotiations to be realized, it is anticipated that sales and purchase agreements will be signed at another four-way meeting that could take place as early as April 2011. The success of such a project would continue diversification of Turkmenistan’s gas export directions, provide needed resources to gas-hungry Pakistan and India, and not least give Afghanistan a keystone development project upon which to build economic reconstruction.
Flooding there has already stranded 20 million people, more than 10 percent of the population. A fifth of the nation is underwater. More than 3.5 million children are in imminent danger of contracting cholera and acute diarrhea; millions more are in danger of starving if they don’t get help soon. More than 1,500 have already been killed by the floods.
This is a human disaster.
It’s also a frightening opening for the Taliban.
We’re told that we fight to protect Pakistan – but how many of its people want US help, or even share our views about the threat? “Analysis: Pakistan not apt to cooperate“, AP, 25 September 2009 — A confused mish-mash of views and information, although the headline is probably correct. “Anti-U.S. Wave Imperiling Efforts in Pakistan, Officials Say“, […]