Pakistan’s Economy Hurt By Attacks On Government

Attacks on Pakistan’s democratically elected government by opposition parties and a hostile judiciary are damaging the nation’s economy according to Moody’s Investor Services analyst Aninda Mitra. According to an interview Mr. Mitra gave to Reuters news service on Wednesday.

“The government is constrained in its focus on long-term economic issues,” Aninda Mitra, Moody’s sovereign analyst for Pakistan, told Reuters in a telephone interview from Singapore.

“Its political position and legitimacy is constantly being questioned by various quarters, including state institutions as well as opposition political parties, and there is a somewhat tense relationship with the armed forces as well,” said Mitra.

“So all this exhausts the government’s political management capabilities, and limits the government’s focus on major economic issues.”

The government of President Asif Ali Zardari is under pressure from a hostile judiciary, sections of the media and the opposition led by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

Americans for Democracy & Justice in Pakistan released the following statement in response to this report:

“Moody’s B3 sovereign rating for Pakistan is a symptom of the larger issues in Pakistan our committee seeks to address. The government has been so hindered by the political maneuvering of opposition forces and a politically motivated judiciary that it ’s efforts to improve the country’s economy and social well-being have been adversely affected. For example, the Supreme Court gave the National Accountability Bureau 24 hours (until today) to demand that the corruption case in Switzerland against President Zardari be re-opened, even though the previous ruling against Zardari in this case was overturned on appeal.”

“Investors, jobs, and economic growth are best promoted in a climate of political stability, with all sides working constructively together , within defined democratic processes, to improve the lives of the people. Citizens and political opponents must use the power of the vote, rather than strong-arm tactics, to create change. This is the formula for progress in thriving economies throughout the world. In spite of their rhetoric, political opponents are hurting, not helping, the people by undermining the sitting, democratically elected president rather than thinking creatively about how to generate economic progress.”

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has been down in Pakistan recently, in no small part due to fears of political instability as the democratic government has met a barrage of attacks – both from terrorists and political opponents – since it was elected. Analysts expect foreign investment in Pakistan to climb once investors’ fears about the security and stability of the government are assuaged.