We mentioned in our last article that Pakistan followed India, where we support 2 projects, in terms of ranking of the most polluted cities in the world. An evidence that public health is not the priority of the authorities? As a matter of fact, the sad team at the helm of this country is piling up inept measures, even simply scandalous.
Thus, with sobs in his voice, Prime Minister Imran Khan implored his creditors to cancel in particular part of the debt accumulated by his country (270 billion dollars, or 107% of its GDP, demonstrating sound management), arguing that the health crisis would precipitate part of its 220 million inhabitants into destitution and famine. We shed a tear on this noble step.
The economy's performance was weak even before the emergence of the health crisis, with a growth rate dropping from 5.5% in 2017-2018 to less than 2.5% in 2019-2020. Pakistan’s budget presentation for the fiscal year 2020-2021 should make those who contemplate acceding to the righteous leader’s demand roar with outrage. It clearly appears that this government is mocking its people, and the whole world, amazed at so much cynicism.
Islamabad has allocated $ 7.85 billion for defense, only $ 151 million for health, and a mere $ 12 million for families impoverished by the lockdown measures. This represents a 12% increase in Pakistan's defense spending from the previous year. The figure also does not give a true picture of the amount actually spent on defense. Because to avoid difficult questions from the IMF, Pakistan refuses to be completely transparent about its military spending. If these were to be added to it, Pakistan’s defense spending would be around a staggering $ 11 billion.
One ought to remember that Pakistan is considered to be the fifth most climate vulnerable nation in the world. Between 1998 and 2018, according to the Global Climate Risk Index, the country is estimated to have suffered losses amounting to about $ 4 billion from 152 extreme weather events in that period, it is probably underestimated. And Pakistan’s climate migrants over the past decade are thought to be around 30 million people.To put things more into perspective, Pakistan ranks 152 out of 190 countries in terms of Human Development Index. It gives, once again, nausea.