Islamabad, Oct 24: Pakistan needs to fix itself for its own sake or the world will continue to see the country more as a risk that needs to be managed than as an opportunity, a Pakistani daily has warned.
Commenting on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to the US, the Dawn pertinently posed the question: “…what kind of Pakistan does Pakistan want to be and how does it see itself engaging the outside world, regionally and internationally,” over years?
The leading Pakistani daily in an editorial stated: “While going into the details about what can and has gone wrong in Pakistan-US ties is important, the backdrop against which the bilateral relationship is playing out is equally essential: what kind of Pakistan does Pakistan want to be and how does it see itself engaging the outside world, regionally and internationally, over the next five, 10, 15 or 20 years?”
It said until the people and leaders of the country have some clarity on these fronts, little can be done to fix bilateral foreign relations.
Though Sharif has laid emphasis on economy and trade, for the outside world, Pakistan in terms of investment and economy has virtually no relevance.
“Pakistan’s economy may seem large to Pakistanis, but in the global market, it is closer to being a rounding error in terms of scale and relevance,” the daily harshly said.
To further stress the point, the editorial pointed out that when high-level delegations from countries like China, India, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia or Indonesia visit the US, the US treasury secretary, the Federal Reserve chairman and CEOs of multi-billion-dollar companies line up to meet the leaders of these countries.
But when a similar delegation from Pakistan visits the US, it “primarily has to deal with national security staff and aid agencies”.
“To make that comparison is not to denigrate Mr Sharif or to downplay this country’s potential – it simply underlines just how far Pakistan is from the country that it ought to have been,” teh Dawn said, adding that the only issue was not militancy but the structural impediments to build a thriving economy and have a stable, healthy and educated population are many others.
“But until Pakistan begins to fix itself for its own sake, the outside world will continue to see this country the same way it has for many years now: less as an opportunity, and more as a risk that has to be managed,” the editorial concluded.