How can Pakistan use the Coronavirus pandemic for its benefit?

Pakistan's economy was already in shambles, however, the government is going to blame the recent coronavirus pandemic for its lackadaisical performance. Due to decreased price of oil in international market, the Trump administration will purchase huge amount of crude oil to be stored for future use. Pakistan can follow suit by turning tables in its favour. But who in Pakistan will really think for its people? The nation still awaits this question to be answered from last 72 years.

coronavirus

Lately the mushrooming and the rapid onslaught of the coronavirus has pinned many countries in a state of disquietude and pandemonium. The rise of this coronavirus hysteria has caught the attention of the masses on a global scale.

Now as many unfortunates are quickly being infected by this harrowing disease, the virus has tipped its weight over on a world scale. Every news starts and ends on this dreadful pandemic.

Coronavirus and crumbling economy of Pakistan

With the notoriety of this disease skyrocketing, it’s not long from now that the government will place the entire blame of our already crumbling economy on this virus, treating it as a scapegoat for their lack of performance.

The corona virus in its complete essence can become a complete blessing for our government to once again win the sympathy votes, hearts and trusts of many to help them catapult back at the helm.

Our economy was already in shambles, even before the whole hue and cry of the corona virus became a real threat for Pakistan.

The rapid upsurge in the price of simple surgical masks is a clear indicator of not that we were short on masks but of our economy being so unstable that we began with the massive shortage of masks in the first place.

Read more: Saudi calls for ‘VIRTUAL’ G20 summit amidst coronavirus fears

It will be easy for Imran Khan’s government to place the entire blame on the virus for the shortcoming but, it was the fault of the government for not being vigilant enough from the start.

It just comes to show the incompetency of our current government, while we all know where the fingers are going to be pointed at in the end.

Many observers fear the pandemic will cause major economic damage due to production losses, disrupted supply chains and a decline in consumptions.

This will help the government to get a sense of reprieve for their shortcomings, amid the dangers. For a disease that mainly affects people with feeble immune systems, the disease is not going to disrupt the economy as much as the government will try to calumniate the virus for the loss in economic power.

The disease can be somewhat of a blessing in disguise and if the government can not take advantage of this opportunity and in the end, place the entire blame on the virus for their already failing economic strategies

According to a recent report by BMA research and the current scenario , Pakistan has certainly taken a hit on its trading with various infected countries like China but if we factor in the possibility of the major disrupt in supply chain , Pakistan can lead to become an emerging exporting nation.

Coronavirus: An opportunity for Pakistan to cure its ailments

The disease can be somewhat of a blessing in disguise and if the government can not take advantage of this opportunity and in the end, place the entire blame on the virus for their already failing economic strategies.

It would be about time; we people realize that our government is solely built on hollow promises and half-baked claims.

The aftermath of this epidemic will also help us witness another ‘U-turn’ soon enough when the blame on incompetency will be justified by accusing a disease.

Pakistan can certainly boost its export volume. Although the growth in global trade is likely to go downhill this year, Pakistan still needs to take consideration of the fact that developing its export sector to grab opportunities, is the way to go.

Considering how many developed and economically stalwart nations are stockpiling on low priced oil during this state of chaos, Pakistan too can follow suit and play the role of the ultimate opportunist.

Read more: Trump deploys hospital ships in coronavirus ‘war’

President Trump recently stated that the “US will purchase at a very good prices for large quantities of crude oil” for storage in the strategic petroleum reserve emergency stockpile, a move that absolutely benefits US producers.

 

The reason for quoting examples like these is to inculcate our government, that even in the face of adversity, the country can still take advantage for turning around the economic tables for the good. These opportunities are what the government should take instead of blaming on the virus later.

People will argue about the fact that the government has also started to take actions against the spreading of this disease, but it is to note that the whole situation was ‘officially’ taken into notice when the virus had already run amok in the country.

The government might also argue that they also began the identification of focal persons for HDUs (high dependency units) and POEs (point of entries) but why hasn’t there been any official statement that correctly identifies a specific HDU

Wasn’t it a little too soon for comfort? The government will claim that they begun taking actions like running simulations in airports and now the government might also argue that it carried out a plethora of precautionary maneuvers but aren’t they all working for a lost cause now.

Yes, the Punjab government has done with the screening of 3694 ‘zaireen’ from Iran; where suspects were identified, isolated and samples were taken but why start it now.

Where was the screening when the first batch of zaireen and many other travelers from different countries came to Pakistan in the wake of this dreadful disease?

Read more: Saving the faltering US economy: The Federal Reserve came into action

The fact that they started screening when the virus had become a threat, speaks volumes about how the government was uncommitted to the cause and ignorant towards the spread of this disease in the country in the start of January.

The government might also argue that they also began the identification of focal persons for HDUs (high dependency units) and POEs (point of entries) but why hasn’t there been any official statement that correctly identifies a specific HDU.

All of these precautions have been just like the ill-conceived promises our government has been making in the past and when push comes to shove by the opposition and the citizens , the government is certainly going to place the entire blame on disease for the exponential  upswing in infected cases instead of reviewing their own policies and strategies.

Salis Malik is an engineering student and works with various national and international think tanks. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.

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