India-Pakistan: India Pakistan April 2024 Update


April 28, 2024: India is largely at peace and prospering while neighboring Pakistan continues struggling with the Islamic terror groups it created and supported for so long, plus the internal corruption and mayhem that policy created. Pakistan also has a problem unique to the region; armed forces that have since the 1950s dominated the political process and become very wealthy, corrupt, and politically powerful as a result. Islamic terrorist violence inside Pakistan has sharply declined since 2014 when public outrage forced the military to shut down the last sanctuary for Islamic terrorists North Waziristan. The Islamic terrorist groups that were not under the military’s control were trying to turn Pakistan into an Islamic dictatorship. That would have threatened the Pakistani military and could not be tolerated. Islamic terrorist violence did not completely disappear in Pakistan after 2014 and the military blamed that on outsiders like India, Afghanistan, and the United States. In mid-2021 a decade of support for the Afghan Taliban resulted in the overthrow of the elected government and a halt to two decades of economic growth there. Another side effect was increasing attacks on Pakistan by Islamic terror groups based in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile Pakistan also has to deal with a growing non-violent Pushtun Rights movement that wants to get the Pakistan military out of the tribal territories on both sides of the Afghan border. The military has responded with arrests, kidnappings, and murder. At the same time the Pakistani generals continued sheltering and supporting Islamic terror groups that only attacked foreign nations, especially India. This contributed to growing hostility towards the military within Pakistan and escalating international criticism. In 2018 the U.S. became more public about the fact that Pakistan was dishonest and unreliable. The Americans pointed out that they had foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and Pakistan gave back nothing but lies and deceit. This backlash began in 2011 when a U.S. raid into Pakistan killed Osama bin Laden. This angered many Pakistanis because it showed that the generals had lied about their involvement with sheltering bin Laden. That raid also made it clear that the military was unable to detect or stop the invading Americans or stop local Islamic radicals from later carrying out revenge attacks that left hundreds of civilians dead.

Then came another series of confrontations between the Pakistani military and the civilian government which, by 2018, the military had clearly won by gaining control of key judges and a newly elected president. That was because old scams still worked. The generals created more confrontations with India and declared that Islamic terrorism was no longer, since 2013, the major threat to Pakistan. The main threat was once again India. This merely increased Indian, American and Afghan anger at Pakistani support of Islamic terrorism and the inability of the Pakistani politicians to control their generals.

India further disrespected the Pakistani military by pointing out that China was the main security threat to India and South Asia in general. India has to deal with some internal unrest, which does far less damage than what Pakistan has to deal with. Islamic terrorist violence, mainly in Indian Kashmir, is less of a problem than tribal rebels in the northeast and Maoist communists in eastern India. Both these threats are being slowly diminished while Pakistan continues to make unofficial war on its neighbors.

Another problem is that the Pakistani economy is becoming more dependent on Chinese investment as well as Chinese diplomatic support and arms exports. The Pakistani pro-Islamic terrorist attitudes have left it with few allies besides China, Iran, and North Korea. Pakistan needs help, but mostly from Pakistanis as the ills that torment Pakistan can only be resolved from within. That is happening despite opposition from the military because the defense budget is unusually high and a lot of it goes to support the lavish lifestyles and foreign bank accounts of senior officers. That has caused a financial crisis that other nations, especially Arab oil states, the United States and international lenders like the IMF and World Bank have kept from becoming catastrophic.

Now the financial problems are so great that all the usual sources of emergency cash are insisting that defense spending be curbed or there will be no more financial aid. The house of cards Pakistani generals built and maintained since the 1970s is collapsing, not because of religious or military issues but because the nation the generals had plundered for so long is bankrupt and no one is willing to bail them out this time.

By 2023 and into 2024 Pakistan endured a growing financial and political crisis. For years Pakistan had been spending itself into debt and by 2022 this scheme finally unraveled. For most Pakistanis their immediate problem was inflation and a currency that was worth less when trying to buy dollars. The American dollar is the primary currency of international trade. Foreign countries generally purchase dollars using their local currency. International currency trading markets make this possible but, if a foreign currency loses value because the local economy was in trouble, the cost of dollars surges to unaffordable levels. That’s what happened in Pakistan and the local economic impact was catastrophic for the average citizen.

Natural disasters, especially major floods, disrupted the economy and that led to widespread bankruptcy among companies which export their products. Nearly a million workers lost their jobs and the cost of living skyrocketed for those still employed. Pakistan was already deeply in debt and International financial aid groups like the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and World Bank were unable to muster enough financial support to bail out Pakistan. As of early 2024 the Pakistan economy has not hit bottom yet and it will take years of painful financial efforts to repair the damage. Most Pakistanis believe the government will rescue the powerful and corrupt local financial institutions before any assistance reaches the average Pakistani.




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