LAHORE: US threats and suspension of aid to Pakistan is a good lesson at national level as it has created an opportunity for country for self-reliance and economic independence and opinion of the nation is united on the issue.
These views were expressed by experts at the Jang Economic Session held on ‘What is message of US by suspending grants to Pakistan’. The panellists were Irfan Yousaf, Ehsan Wayeen, Jamshaid Iqbal Cheema, Baber Murtaza, and Khalique Arshad while the session was hosted by Sikandar Lodhi.
Irfan Yousaf said that suspension of aid from US can affect economy but the government should take the business community and public in confidence to minimise the impact so that it could evolve tax and other relevant policies to strengthen the economy. He said Pakistan suffered a lot against the $33 billion while US never acknowledged it. He said exports were adversely affected due to becoming part of war against terrorism besides it caused decline in investment. He said the government needed to evolve easy taxation policies to improve remittances and end the environment of mistrust.
Ehsan Wayeen said suspension of US aid raised a question that Pakistan will get integrity or slavery. He said the first reaction of civil and military was very balanced. He said Pakistan’s economy is currently in deficit and can’t afford war against super power so need to adopt mild response. He suggested evolving stable foreign policy and changing attitude and if Pakistan will not change US supporting or tilting policies then public will face the consequences. He said Pakistan was getting isolated so there is a need to resolve issues diplomatically with US.
Jamshaid Iqbal Cheema said that US president's threats and suspension of aid is a golden chance for Pakistan for economic independence. He said America used Pakistan for its war and against which it gave aid which is not a favour. He suggested to increase the Nato transit rent instead of suspending supply. He called for improving diplomatic ties with Europe, Russia, US and other countries and should not focus on US job as Pakistan is ally with China now. Furthermore,Pakistan should tell its national agenda to US with its foreign policy and will not get any aid not relevance with its agenda.
Baber Murtaza said Pakistan never made progress economically since independence while remained always under US influence. He suggested taking US threat as challenge and start living without its aid by using indigenous resources. He said talks with US should be on equality basis without any pressure to maintain the integrity and stand on ‘no more’ slogan. He believed that US wanted to put responsibility of its Afghan war failure on Pakistan for safe exit. Khalique Arshad said that Trump's threat of aid suspension was a blessing for Pakistan. He said friendship is always two-sided while US was giving impression that it had supported a lot but fact is Pakistan sacrificed a lot for US cause, besides developing US and China link. He called for independent and balanced policy and ending the US tilting foreign policy and creating balanced policies with Russia and China.
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