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PAKISTAN


  
  



Key Economic Data 
 
  2004 2003 2002 Ranking(2004)
GDP
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: 064 - (26/05/11)

Caught red handed
Although Washington refrained from openly pointing out how the Pakistanis were clearly protecting Bin Laden in the location where he was killed by an American raid, they hardly needed to elaborate on what was obvious. Nobody believed Pakistan’s denials and privately even top Pakistani officers admit that they were holding him under their protection, although with the qualification that they were ‘about to hand him over’, or were meaning to deliver him ‘at the right time’. However, if Washington believed that the Pakistanis would become more co-operative after Bin Laden’s death, they seem to have been mistaken. If anything, the Pakistanis are more furious than ever. Even the raid against a base of the Pakistani Navy in Karachi, which seriously damaged the country’s strategic reconnaissance capability, is attributed by Army officers to an American conspiracy. The Pakistani government cannot simply change route, lest it faces a mutiny of the army. The fact that the Pakistanis even before the raid against Bin Laden were trying to curtail CIA presence inside the country, is highly significant: the CIA was getting to know too much. On 23 May a raid on the Afghan border appears to have narrowly missed Mullah Omar. Although there is no confirmation of who carried it out, it seems to have been a combined CIA-US army operation, probably relying on intelligence sources managed by the CIA via Blackwater in North Waziristan. The Americans therefore would seem to have decided to spend the intelligence capital accumulated so far, given that they have to quit anyway; perhaps there is also a political decision to confront the Pakistanis and operate without their authorisation. The Pakistanis have been calling several American bluffs, perhaps now it is Washington’s time to try the same.

The drawbacks of compulsive double-gaming
Pakistan’s casting as a rogue state is strengthened by the growing evidence of the involvement of its intelligence services in the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai. Moreover, despite the evidence that Lashkar-e Taiba carried out the attacks, no measures have been taken to ban the group or to try its members allegedly involved in the attacks, despite the fact that they have been already detained. On the other hand the Pakistani army is embarrassed also by a completely different kind of revelations, concerning its demands of intensified American drone raids against undesirable elements. It has also been revealed that a group of US Special Operations Forces operates on Pakistani territory, exposing the hypocrisy of a Pakistani army that in public was bashing Pakistani politicians about allowing the Americans to carry out raids inside Pakistani territory.

Making Washington jealous
The reality might turn out to be that Islamabad is not actually ready to dump the Americans for the Chinese as they have been hinting, mainly because the Chinese are not that interested in baling out a sinking ship… Prime Minister Gilani recently declared China as Pakistan’s best friend. Islamabad has now asked China to build a naval base in Baluchistan, no doubt another signal to Washington that Pakistan has alternative sources of support. China’s reassurances to Pakistan in May, that “no matter what changes might take place in the international landscape, China and Pakistan will remain for ever good neighbours, good friends, good partners and good brothers”, do not imply however that Bejing is about to open its coffers. The Congress is now calling for US$3 billion of aid to Pakistan to be withheld, but the Obama administration is against such a move, as it could be the coup de grace to US-Pakistani relations.

One thing is certain: Pakistan will need friends with wallets well stuffed. Following the latest meeting with the Pakistani authorities, the IMF has stated that Pakistan needs to expand its fiscal base. The general sales tax reform is also still waiting to be implemented and the IMF has given time until the end of September for that to happen.


 

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