Pakistan’s crises may start collateral effect

Pakistan is in the throes of multiple crises: a bankrupt economy, spurt in terrorism, social tensions, and an intensifying political conflict. A deepening economic crisis has all but emptied the country’s foreign exchange reserves, leaving it barely enough dollars to cover even one month’s worth of imports after the recent devastating floods wiped out harvests, and it is struggling to service sky-high levels of foreign debt. Prolonged negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout package have failed, pushing the country into an abyss of uncertainty.

Islamabad is trying hard for the package – the last tranche of $1.1 billion out of a $6.5-billion loan programme sanctioned in July 2019 – to resolve the debt crisis. The loan is critical for Pakistan’s economy as inflation has soared to over 27 percent – the highest since 1975 – the rupee sank to a historic low of 275 against the US dollar; more than 60 percent of the industries have shut down and power outages and a severe shortage of essential commodities have accentuated the miseries of the common people.

On the internal security front, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, which pulled out of the ceasefire with the government late last year, has stepped up attacks on civilians and security forces. The unstable Pakistan is a big threat to India. The terrorists groups might try to take advantage of the situation and launch anti-India attacks. Also, Pakistan state itself might try to provoke tension along the LOC to draw the attention of the world and whip up anti-India sentiments. Therefore, India has to remain alert.