Pakistan-US strategic dialogue is important from the point of view of contents; it covers almost all essential domains. It is mutually beneficial to both sides. However, every round of dialogue gets overshadowed by American obsessions with Pakistan-India relations and Pakistan’s nuclear programme. The US perception has it that onus of maintaining good Pakistan-India relations rests on Pakistan; and that irrespective of its strategic calculus with India, Pakistan should unilaterally rollback its nuclear programme. American media is often keen to link Pakistan’s nuclear programme with its external debts and makes offers for bartering Pakistani-nukes with write off of these debts. Most of the factors, which determine a good economic health are poorly addressed in Pakistan. The human development report yearly issued by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) shows Pakistan at a lower level; 146 out of 187, countries. Also, there has been persistent low per capita income rate. From 2008 to 2015, the average growth has been around 3.5 percent, which is quite low—certainly not an enviable benchmark. The last five years of Pakistan’s economy were highly inflationary. This was a major hurdle in the way of development. Rather than attracting, foreign direct investment (FDI), even local Pakistani investors left the country, in numbers, for investing in neighbouring countries. Both, nuclear programme spanning full spectrum deterrence and robust economy, are vitally important to the existence of state and well being of the people of Pakistan. Even though economy is improving, it needs to be looked at from all aspects, and above all, unless requisite structural reforms are put in place, state of economy shall continue to be unstable.Read More »
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