Why can’t Pakistan default? A dialogue 

The quintessential question bothering everyone today is “Whether Pakistan is going to default?”. Let me tell you why it won’t. Now, I am not going to predict a model or give economic solutions which I can. But I will give you an angle which you won’t be able to refuse and would agree. There is one catch; what I suggest would be good enough to sustain our nation for another few months till we get another drip support. Reason being that the script hasn’t change and wouldn’t change as it looks so. As per my assessment and observations of both friends and enemies. The good news we would “Not Default”. How let’s ponder over it now?

Now a days; most of the time when you meet anyone who is known to the situation of Pakistan and especially if that person has any interest in history or economics or even geopolitical situation would be probing you about how things are back home. Perhaps, the picture painted by our foes are that we would soon collapse and may end up being a failed state and there might be a Civil war etc. etc. 

I had a client meeting a day or two ago. Let me make you guess the nationality. After the pleasantries were exchanged and business discussion got concluded. Pakistan became a topic for discussion as we both continued with our strong cup of coffee. 

His first question was as explained above, and my answer was simple “You guys can’t afford for Pakistan to default so I think it won’t”. 

His response was laughing mean that “If we are going down so are you, isn’t it?”. 

I said “Yes” smiling back as I took another sip of my coffee. 

You all must remember that being a Pakistani even if you are earning in dollars or Dirhams. You still worry about Pakistan. It’s a fact that it’s the remittances sent by millions of Pakistanis like me in billions of dollars all these years which has sustained Pakistan. Still, we have not acknowledgement or rights like voting given to us in fact told by many to stay out of Pakistani politics as if Pakistan is an independent economy knowing that it would be either our remittances or investments would sustain Pakistan in the near future. Anyways, enough with cribbing and coming back to the discussion.

“Why would you say that?” asked my friend. 

“Well! It’s simple. We are a nuclear state and otherwise a fully armed state anyways with millions of AK 47’s in personal use let alone the small hand weapons etc. Millions capable of firing these as well. Now imagine if there is a Civil war and for some reason someone directs it towards your border. I am sure you don’t want a horde 

looking to survive or targeted or manipulated to look eastwards to take out their anger; like it has been many times in the past historically” I responded as I took a bite in the cookie on the side. 

“Well, my friend we have real politicians in our country and my theory is that Pakistan exists to create a buffer between us and the hordes which attacked us so many times in the last few centuries all the way to Somnath. Yes, you are right we are almost a 4 trillion US dollars economy and if it takes say US$ 10 bn a year to keep the troubles away why not?” my friend answered back intensely. I could sense the fear of unknown as he is a patriot for his nation but so am I. 

“Well than we have a deal. I am sure you with all your resources would not want a reason for a horde to organize again as we have only a few billions of dollars to lose whilst you have a 4 trillion-dollar economy apart from other issues. Remember, you can’t force a nation to adhere to international policies if it has gone rogue. All it would take would be to blame your nation for the current chaos easily and create a route. I am sure it serves us no purpose. We both know nuclear would never be an option and conventional war means many casualties. So rather, instead of continuing with Doval doctrine perhaps bail us out again” I tried to conclude as I was getting late for my next appointment. 

“Cheers! My friend and why not we have our people sitting on some key positions both in IMF and World Bank and I am sure they are cognizant of the same as well and are patriots. But then gain it would be that much as I am you would realize to keep you guys on a short leash” he tried to conclude at the same time. 

“It’s unfortunate that we as a nation in this state but what is there is there and needs to be solved” I responded. 

“Hey! Can I ask you another question?” he asked.

“Yes shoot” I requested. 

“Do you think that there would be a martial law in Pakistan? I hope it happens as I see no other way for the situation to be stabilized.” he asked. 

I started laughing hysterically wondering; the largest democracy in the world in order to survive is hoping for a dictatorship in Pakistan though knowing that whenever there has been democracy in Pakistan, they have gained much due to chaos. But perhaps now it’s at a tipping point that they also hope we go back to the dictatorship. 

“Well! I don’t think that it would be a direct Martial law, but the way things are it could be that new elections are called. Interim government is in place. Some collateral incident happens causing the Supreme court to decide on having a technocrat government to stabilize the nation represented by those in the establishment or in the military. That’s the only plausible constitutional way that it could happen, and you hope it does like I said otherwise we are tilting towards chaos looking at the circus currently going on in Pakistan” I responded as I tried to request for leave. 

The meeting concluded on a positive note, and we shook hands and walked towards our respective cars. But as I did walk back towards my car; I kept on thinking how we ended up in this mess in the first place and whether if there is a respite. Till the time the same crooked lot leads us and now by their posterity with no merit or loyalty in place and with support from a few in establishment of the same lot by giving them life again and again by throwing NRO’s. Our fate would remain at a short leash forever. We would celebrate one release of funds from either IMF or world bank every few months, or deposits in our accounts or deferment of the loan payments but whether we would go beyond the question remains. No, we are not going default for sure. But may remain at the anvil for our remaining natural lives if the status quo doesn’t change.

It’s time to change not only for the present but for the future. We deserve better. 

Pakistan Zindabad!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s