For an embarrassment of a nation that Pakistan is, it has had an equally embarrassing week. The odds have been roughly against Pakistan in the past one week. For a nation which still thinks it is widely respected by the international community and that it has not been isolated, the events this week have not at all been pleasing. They might argue that the events are their ‘internal disputes’ to resolve, however, we can at least have a good laugh observing them from a distance.
First, Imran Khan goofed up at the SCO summit with his egotistical antics. He shamed his entire nation in front of the world community. Off late, we have been observing that Pakistanis are themselves getting annoyed with their Prime Minister.
Then, news broke that Pakistan had miserably failed to fulfill 25 of the 27 action points given by the international terror financing watchdog FATF to check funding to terrorist groups such as LeT and JeM and frontal groups like Jamat-ud-Dawah and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation. This development assumes great significance, as this would, by implication, cause multilateral lenders like the IMF, World Bank and EU to continue with their downgrading of Pakistan, hurting its already broken economy even further. In 2018, Pakistan was placed under the ‘Grey’ list by FATF. “It has been unable to complete 25 of its 27 action points. It has one last chance, till its 15-month deadline ends in October 2019, when the FATF Plenary will be held”, an official remarked.
Thirdly, and most importantly, Pakistan terribly lost to India at the World Cup match between the two nations this Sunday. The Indo-Pak World Cup match is one for which emotions run high on both sides of the border. It is a prestige battle which Pakistan miserably lost for the 7th consecutive time this Sunday. They have never won a World Cup match against India. Imran Khan wore the philosopher’s hat and took to Twitter on Sunday morning to advise their team, particularly Sarfaraz Ahmed on how to go about the match. During and after the match, Pakistanis had a massive meltdown on Twitter. They trolled their own team and were visibly ashamed of its performance. Former cricketer Shoaib Akhtar took to YouTube to tear apart the Pakistani team and its captain. Pakistanis also trolled Sania Mirza for allowing the team to have dinner at a restaurant the night before the World Cup match. Pakistani actress Veena Malik and Sania had a Twitter spat on the same issue too.
Veena,I hav not taken my kid to a sheesha place. Not that it’s any of your or the rest of the world’s business cause I think I care bout my son a lot more than anyone else does :) secondly I am not Pakistan cricket team’s dietician nor am I their mother or principal or teacher https://t.co/R4lXSm794B
— Sania Mirza (@MirzaSania) June 17, 2019
However, the most embarrassing development this week for Pakistan is that it has been publicly exposed by the Asian Development Bank(ADB) for lying. Earlier, Imran Khan’s advisor had claimed that ADB will be providing a loan of $3.4 billion to the cash-strapped nation. However, the ADB has come out and clarified that this is a “premature announcement” and that “discussions are still ongoing”.
What is noteworthy is that this clarification has come on a public holiday, which is extremely rare on the part of the Asian Development Bank. “These discussions are ongoing and details of the plans as well as the volume of ADB’s financial support, once finalised, will be contingent upon the approval of ADB management and its Board of Directors,“ ADB’s Country Director for Pakistan Xiaohong Yang was quoted as saying by Dawn News on Monday.
Sources at the ADB said, “The ADB management was embarrassed by the government’s premature announcement about the ongoing discussions on loan programme which the bank had not even taken up with its board of directors and had to take an extraordinary step to downplay the discussions”. Pakistan is reeling under a severe debt and economic crisis. With the public rapidly growing impatient with the establishment, the Imran Khan government must have thought of lying as being the best way to cool tempers among the people.
All in all, Pakistan is a delightful spectacle for us to observe. The past week has been a trying one for them. We wish them luck for the imminent impediments ahead.