Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday said the world will take his country seriously once it is economically stable. He made this comment while lamenting that the world was not taking the Kashmir issue seriously though Pakistan was raking it up at international meetings.
“The world will take Pakistan seriously when we are financially stable,” the Minister said.
The Pakistan Foreign Minister conceded that many countries were reluctant to speak on the Kashmir issue and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) because of their economic interests as India was a big trade market for them.
“The thing is that while everyone speaks of ethics and doing the right thing, their actions are always in line with safeguarding their own economic interests,” he said.
Mr. Qureshi said his Ministry would facilitate other Ministries to establish stronger commercial ties with other nations, which would help introduce better trade practices in the country, Dawn News reported. Mr. Qureshi said “de-industrialization” in Pakistan in recent years had led to the closing down of many factories.
“The question is about when this process [de-industrialization] started. If industries are shutting down now, something must have happened in the past few years to have triggered the process,” the Minister was quoted as saying by the Dawn News.
He said placing blame or playing politics on the economy would serve no purpose but a solution must be found.
The cash-strapped Pakistan government has been implementing austerity measures to improve the country’s finances. In July last year, Pakistan registered a currency reserve of less than USD 8 billion – enough to cover only 1.7 months of imports.
The International Monetary Fund formally approved a USD 6-billion loan to Pakistan in July 2019, citing “significant” economic challenges. Pakistan has so far received billions in financial aid from friendly countries such as China, Saudi Arabia and the UAE during the current fiscal year.