What is the policy of the new Shehbaz Sharif government on both internal and external fronts and strategic decisions like CPEC and economy?
The new regime that came into being after brazen manipulation of the system is already failing on both the external and internal fronts.
On the external front, government has so far not received any support from friendly nations to shore up its declining foreign exchange reserves. IMF has also not came to the rescue and countries like China and Russia have also moved a step back after the installation of US-friendly government. On the domestic front, prices of essential items have increased enormously and rupee is in a free fall.
Because of some of these woes, many people in Pakistan are worried if the country is heading in the same direction as Sri Lanka where unrest has gone bloody after country defaulted on its debts and no friendly came to its rescue.
If we look at the external policies of the new Shehbaz government we will come to know about where the country is headed. The new government has appointed a young man, who has no experience to run external affairs, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
The nascent foreign minister has just begin his first ever ministerial job and that too with the most important portfolio. According to American secretary of state Antony Blinken, who called to foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, at the 75 anniversary of Pak-US relations, said:
“We are committed to strengthening our relationship and our cooperation on afghan stability, combating terrorism and expending commerce.”
With this statement, Pakistan’s closeness to America will continue to keep the country away from her allies and firmly pro-American and thus the exercise to oust Imran Khan who tried to diversify the country’s international relations. Further US extended invitation to Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to Covid-19 summit.
The cash-strapped country headed directly to Saudi Arabia and UAE in their first foreign visit. According to pro government media Pakistan secured $8 billion package from Saudi Arabia but the reality is against this statement. In reality Saudi Arabia is merely considering to extend the three billion dollar deposit in State Bank of Pakistan. It was actually secured by Imran Khan’s government and Shehbaz Sharif’s government has requested the Kingdom to renew it.
All these developments made the success of their visit to Saudi Arabia doubtful. Similarly in UAE the premier of Pakistan Shehbaz Sharif didn’t secure any package though UAE suggested that her economic team will visit Pakistan in order to decide in which sector foreign direct investment should be done.
In addition to above developments Pakistan also lost the support of Iran and kept silence on the developments of Imran Khan’s highlighted visit to Russia which would have provided Pakistan with cheap wheat and oil.
The statement of Hina Rabbani Khar to call for diplomacy and dialogue for an early, negotiated end to the Ukraine conflict and call for an immediate cessation of hostilities further widened the gap between Russia and Pakistan.
These developments resulted in increase in support of Iran and Russia media for Imran Khan. Therefore Russian embassy official Twitter handle tagged Imran khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi instead of the current regime in 74 year friendship post.
From the most important China’s front, the new regime is about to wrap up CPEC authority. It is the authority which was made to bypass all the hurdles in the way of CPEC projects. The new government wants to bring all CPEC related issues under planning ministry. Further, the recent blast on Chinese people in Karachi University has shaken the confidence of China in Pakistan’s security.
Reasons of failure of the new Shehbaz government at external front
- The reaction of Pakistanis towards the regime shattered their credibility and the Middle East showed cold shoulders to them in their visits.
- According to officials of United States, the snub comes as Saudi and Emirati officials wised criticism of American policy in the gulf.
- The gulf countries are moving towards independent foreign policy, therefore, they can not help Pakistan under US pressure as they did before.
- Closeness of Pakistan towards West widened the gap of Pakistan with China, Russia, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and UAE.
At internal front the main objective of the new government is to clear all the cases filed against them. They are also increasingly showing their urge to play blasphemy and article six cards against their political opponents.
Many dams which were started during Imran Khan regime under the chairmanship of General Muzammil Hussain of WAPDA have been slowed down who later resigned after refusal to work with the new government.
The prices of commodities are hiking up and their is no way to bring down inflation. Many important personalities like governor of State Bank Raza Baqir, WAPDA chairman General Muzammil and MD of PTV resigned. There is no focus on the concerns of public.
The only solution to the prevailing economic and external woes is to conduct early elections that’s it.