Imran Khan Government's Midterm Review: Economy and Foreign Policy
Imran Khan's government has completed about half of its 5-year term it won in 2018. What are its accomplishments? Where has it failed in terms of economy and foreign policy.
Imran Khan inherited a serious balance of payments crisis cased by flat exports and record high imports in 2013-2018 period under Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) government. while the PTI government was still dealing with it, the country and the world were hit by COVID19 pandemic that devastated the global economy.
|Pakistan's Trade July2020-Jan2021. Source: Arif Habib|
|Export Growth in South Asia. Source: Wall Street Journal|
|Pakistan Vehicle Sales 1H FY20-21. Source: Arif Habib|
Now Pakistani economy is finally stabilizing and a strong recovery is underway. The recovery is led particularly by the construction and manufacturing sector as evident from double digit increases in cement consumption and large scale manufacturing growth.
|Cement Sales in Pakistan. Source: Bloomberg|
One of Pakistan's key foreign policy successes is the US-Taliban Peace Deal. But now there is uncertainty surrounding it with the inauguration of President Joseph Biden. Biden's election and the growing rivalry between US and rising China have changed the calculus in South Asia and the Middle East regions, impacting Pakistan. Former President Trump's erratic behavior has also contributed to it.
Based on Biden's record as Obama's vice president, it is expected that the new US president will continue to support a stable Pakistan. A suggestion that has been made by former State Department officials Shumaila Chaudhry and Vali Nasr is for the US to take advantage of Pakistan's free trade deal with China by setting up value-added re-export units in the country.
Please watch this discussion with Faraz Darvesh as host and Dr. Owais Saleem, Sabahat Ashraf and Riaz Haq as panelists: