Big challenge before Imran Khan to get bail out package for tattered Pakistani economy
New Delhi, Aug 18: Former test cricket and now Prime Minister of Pakistan has bumpy road ahead to run a government of the country whose economy is in shambles and needs an immediate bail out. The country which is known to be a hub for terrorist activities is facing not only economic challenges but political, religious, ethnic and diplomatic as well.
All these issues will come before him as he did get a clean house. The immediate challenge before the newly appointed Prime Minister is to get economic bailout. Pakistan needs at least $12 billion to keep the country's economy afloat. "International Monetary Fund (IMF) refused to give any loan to Pakistan but the country needs it to maintain trade deficit for its import to continue. Country's foreign reserve has also gone down to dangerous level. Who will bail Pakistan out is a big question," asked Dhruvajyoti Bhattacharya, a strategic expert.
The US had already made it clear to Pakistan that loan taken from the IMF would not be used in repaying Chinese debt. So economic issues are big challenge for him with some other hopes like Asian Development Bank (ADB), Shanghai Corporation Organisation (SCO), Central Asian Countries and Saudi Arabia to bail out Pakistan but none of them have shown any keenness. Bhattacharya said, "Military and Judiciary, which have helped him to get this job, will not allow him enough space to maneuver even if the move is for the betterment of Pakistan but that doesn't suit them."
But China has always been there to rescue Pakistan ever since US started playing cautiously vis e vis Pakistan. Bhattacharya said, "It is possible but Tehriq-e-Insaf will have to change its policy towards China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) on which it was demanding more transparency. Moreover, China has already given around $100 billion loan to Pakistan. Repaying it is a big challenge."
He has taken over as the PM but charges rigging election on his party will keep on disturbing him as not only Bilawal Zardari of PPP but Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League (N) are to go aggressive against Imran in the days to come. Another strategic expert Rajvir Sharma said that there are huge challenges before the Pakistan PM at domestic level that include consolidation of radical religious group with massive support base in these election especially in Sindh and Punjab provinces. Ethnic cleansing of Baluchs and Pakhtuns, bloodbath of Shia during elections, corruption and poverty too hot to handle for the new government.
The new Prime Minister will have to face challenges from Iran and Afghanistan not only on the issue of border but also issue of terrorism. Sources said that India's stand for talks is very clear as long as cross-border terrorism continues there is no chance of talks with Pakistan. These gestures like Navjot Singh Sidhdhu visiting Pakistani to attend swearing-in ceremony of Imran Khan and Pakistan minister attending funeral of former Prime minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee will go on. But Pakistan will have to show some credible evidence to bring India on the table of talks.