• Pakistan is suffering from a perfect storm of economic and natural calamities, political turmoil, and societal unrest.
• Imran Khan was ousted through a no-confidence vote in April 2022, sparking protests that led to bloodshed and arrests across the country.
• The Russian Invasion of Ukraine has further damaged the Pakistani economy by causing fuel and food prices to rise, leading to an increased chance of default.
Pakistan Experiences ‘Perfect’ Disaster on All Fronts
In April 2022, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan was ousted through a no-confidence vote initiated by the opposition. Protests ensued which led to bloodshed and arrests across the country. In May 2023, Imran Khan was arrested on corruption charges but released on bail shortly after by the Supreme Court. The political instability has caused deep polarization amongst citizens and continues to threaten the fundamental structure of Pakistan itself.
The Russian Invasion of Ukraine in 2022 caused international fuel and food prices to rise significantly which hurt Pakistan’s economy en masse. Excessive external borrowing by Pakistan raised the chance of a default, causing the Rupee to fall and making imports more expensive. This crisis worsened when floods hit different parts of the country in 2023, destroying agricultural land and infrastructure while exacerbating poverty levels even further.
The economic decline has been accompanied by increasing social turmoil as militant groups have taken advantage of the crisis to spread their influence throughout certain regions in Pakistan. The government is struggling to contain them as it is already overburdened with addressing other pressing issues such as poverty alleviation or healthcare provisioning for those affected by pandemics or natural disasters such as floods or earthquakes.
Madiha Afzal from Brookings Institution warned about future prospects for Pakistan stating “I see the crisis as one that is deepening, and it is very difficult to see a way out” . Experts agree that widespread reforms are needed if any progress is expected from this situation; however these will be hard fought battles given how entrenched interests can be in politics or economics within Pakistan’s borders .
Pakistan finds itself facing an uphill battle against many obstacles ranging from economic woes to political instability which have all contributed towards creating a perfect storm for disaster within its borders . It remains unclear how this situation will develop , however it is clear that much work needs to be done before peace can return back into Pakistani society .