Pakistan has suffered severely from the Corona pandemic, as have most other countries. But Pakistan has also suffered from chronic economic crisis, even before the pandemic, for many years. Low growth rates, high levels of debt, inflation, low productivity and poor competitiveness have, among other factors, contributed to widespread poverty and slow development in Pakistan. Solving the key problems of Pakistan and its vibrant society, therefore, requires to overcome the economic calamities Pakistan has been facing for too long.
Economic variables are not just a matter for the economists, but for all Pakistanis, rich and poor. The future of the country, and of all its citizens, will depend on overcoming the economic crisis, which has been aggravated by the pandemic. Talk about turning the economy around is nothing new, but up to now has resulted in little success. Balance of payment figures, the rate of economic growth, tax policies and other economic topics have been discussed time and again, and with good reason – but all this talk has not solved the economic problems of Pakistan, and much less the problems of the common people. Pakistan, with all its resources and opportunities, cannot afford to continue to muddle through economically any longer, but needs a better, a functioning, and a prosperous economy. And the country needs it very soon. Most people would strongly support this view. In my view, Pakistan also requires a political consensus on economic policy. Freeing the country from its economic calamities should not be a matter of party affiliation, but a common task for all political actors who want to see Pakistan flourish. There is a dire need for a functioning economic strategy, and for continuity in its implementation, if Pakistan’s economy is to be dynamized.