US arm twisting

What Pakistan must do to mitigate US arm-twisting

A SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat) analysis of the US-Pak situation shows that US arm twisting will likely hurt Pakistan in the external payment area. If the US further discourages investment, aid, IMF lending, World Bank lending, tourism, and trade, Pakistan will likely face a currency crunch in 2022, as CPEC forecasted re-payment to China alone is up to $ 5 Billion.

Fast track CPEC revenue stream

CPEC Phase I (port and land bridge) must be completed as scheduled by 2020, so that revenue from cargo shipments to and fro China is collected early.

  Increase revenues through tax reforms

Pakistan revenue collection from rising GDP figures ($ 300+ Billion in 2017), taxes on rising land prices (due to CPEC) and toll income must be tapped early.

Restrict luxury item imports to improve the balance of payment

Pakistan can do without imported gift items, cosmetics, and junk cars which might stave off the IMF program.

Look for a bailout from Saudi Arabia / China in 2022

After all Prince MBS bought a French Palace for upwards of $ 300 Million and we have saved the Saud family throne once.

 

Connect to EU through Iran-Turkey route

ECO route for trade is more valid now than ever before

Give full access to local companies in defense product manufacture

It’s about time local companies are granted full access to meeting Pakistan’s defense needs through import substitution. Defense production should not be the exclusive domain of the Public sector.

More teeth to the military

Military needs to sharpen the blade and make it more agile. That means reducing the numbers and adding more teeth. Russian modernization is a good example.

Export manpower to Iran, Middle East, China & Russia

Manpower is our only abundant resource. Pakistan should help our allies with their depleted manpower

Invest more in education, health, and training

Being the last tier country of the Global Competitiveness index (115/137 in 2017), Pakistan needs to invest its precious revenue in education, health, training, and R&D. People will bring in the returns.

Keep Afghanistan war outside Pakistan

What happens in Afghanistan should stay in Afghanistan.

Conditional Intelligence cooperation with the US

The US is still desperate for anti-terror intel from Pakistan. Pakistan should ask for major economic and external concessions for intel cooperation

Open talks with India

After all, North Korea unilaterally opened talks with the South. Pakistan cannot fight two elephants at the same time.

Give Exit to Iranian, Central Asian, and Russia Gas/oil pipelines

Open up the locked energy of these marginalized countries could be a boon for Pakistan and would make the US reconsider its hostile stance.

There are many things that are looking up for Pakistan. 

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2 Comments

  1. Very well written. Insightful

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