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Key Economic Data 
  2004 2003 2002 Ranking(2004)
Millions of US $ 96,100 82,300 73,300 44
GNI per capita
 US $ 600 520 480 160
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

Books on Pakistan


Update No: 021 - (25/10/07)

Is the deal there?
By the second half of October it was still unclear whether the deal between Musharraf and Bhutto was standing or had even been formalised. Musharraf was re-elected as President with the abstention of PPP parliamentarians. He even managed to get elected while still wearing the uniform, contrary to what was demanded by Bhutto, although he pledged to quit the army by 15 November. The fact that he also selected former head of intelligence Lt Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kiani as his deputy and successor in the position of Chief of Staff seems to assure that he will indeed quit. Benazir Bhutto was granted amnesty from corruption charges and proceeded to return to Pakistan on 18 September, welcomed by a crowd of hundreds of thousands, but her triumphant welcome from her supporters was terribly damaged by her procession being attacked by islamic terrorist bombers who failed to get her, but killed 134 bystanders, with hundreds injured - including 6 policemen dead, wounding 20 more.
Uncertainty remains concerning key forthcoming rulings of the Supreme Court on the admissibility of Bhutto's amnesty and of Musharraf's re-election. As a result Musharraf has so far avoided meeting another key demand of the PPP, namely measures to guarantee free and fair elections. Most observers believe that the Supreme Court will confirm Musharraf's election.

Musharraf-Bhutto axis increasingly unpopular
Assuming that over the next few weeks all the pieces of the deal fall in place, the eventual success of the scheme concocted in Islamabad and Washington would still not be assured. The popularity of Musharraf has been falling fast. The latest polls put his support at just 21%, a third of what he was polling a year ago and half of what he was polling this summer. The security crisis affecting the country is certainly in part to blame for this, as many Pakistanis must have expected that living in a soft dictatorship would at least have guaranteed a high level of security and stability. Even more worryingly, Bhutto's popularity has been falling too - although her reappearance in the country might change that - and she has now been overtaken in polls by the exiled Nawaz Sharif as the best potential prime minister. Parliamentary polls also place the Sharif's Muslim League on top, with PPP a close second and PML-Q, Musharraf's party, a distant third. Although polls are unreliable in Pakistan, if they have any accuracy the trend would clearly be that of a meteoric rise in popularity of Nawaz Sharif and his party. An electoral alliance of PPP and PML-Q might be difficult to put together given the reciprocal distaste of the two leaderships. Should the two parties run separately, it is conceivable that (an absentee) Nawaz Sharif might even win a majority in the parliament. Again, it cannot yet be assessed what effect the horror at the terrorist outrages on Benazhir Bhutto's return might have on electoral reaction After all , Bhutto's supporters were hailing her return, coupled with Musharraf's submittng himself for re-election, as the return of democracy.

Investors fear violence....
Local observers hope that at least the deal with keep the flow of external aid flowing and maybe even increasing, contributing to keep the economy move forward. The UK has already announced a doubling in its aid to Pakistan. The main question is whether a new government will succeed in controlling the rising violence in Pakistan. The attack on Bhutto's convoy on 19 October clearly worried investors and Pakistani bonds fell by half a point to 92.375 / 93.375 cents to a dollar. The October fighting in the tribal areas was the most violent ever and featured repeated air strikes, allegedly with significant civilian casualties. 

.......but economic news is good
Economic data being released in Pakistan still mostly relates to the pre-crisis period. Among recent releases are figures showing that the banking sector was continuing to grow very fast. Banking is already one of the comparatively most developed sectors of the Pakistani economy and during 2006 assets grew by another 17%. The Pakistani banking system is considered one of the best among emergent economies in terms of capital adequacy, asset quality and profits. The real estate sector also seems to be holding on well despite the international crisis, having dropped by just 3% by September. On the other hand, the government avoid reporting on public companies like the railways or Pakistani Airlines, which are reportedly making huge losses.

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