Dr Amjad Ayub Mirza
Dr Amjad Ayub Mirza

PoK activist blames army as Pakistan registers first ever negative economic growth

ANI | Updated: Jun 13, 2020 15:20 IST

Glasgow, UK (ANI) June 13 (ANI): Dr Amjad Ayub Mirza, a rights activist from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) living in exile has blamed Pakistan's deep state of the army for the negative growth the country has registered for the first time ever in its history.

Mirza asked how a country could flourish or register a positive growth if its annual budget couldn't be unveiled without the blessings of the army.

"This budget has Rs 650 Billion allocated for the development purpose, while the military has been allocated a sum of Rs 1.3 Trillion. This simply means that the budget has been presented after the approval of the army," said Mirza.

He also said that there was a prevailing sense of fear amongst the legislators of Pakistan and they were forced to respect the army.

"Hammad Azhar, the minister who presented the budget expressed his government's gratitude to the army on the floor of the house. This simply means that this government is powerless and scared of the army," said Mirza.

He also accused the people in the establishment of wallowing in luxury and spending way too much than what the country could afford. He also urged politicians to restrain expenditures for the welfare of his own region that has been deprived benefits for the past seven decades.

Mirza said, "This is the first time in the history in Pakistan that the budget is showing negative growth. It's -0.4 per cent this time. This is a dangerous situation because it requires a lot of things to be done to convert a negative growth into positive. First and foremost, you need to stop your expenses that do not yield dividends."

Pakistan's economic crisis cannot be attributed to the current health crisis as Imran Khan and his team was time and again seen seeking financial support from other countries even before the COVID-19 outbreak.

Pakistan escaped the collapse as international organisations like IMF and countries like China and Saudi Arabia bailed it out by providing billions.

The activist also said Pakistan was neck-deep in debt and was hiding the real numbers from the world. He also said the country's projections regarding the crisis will fail in future and Islamabad will have to come up with a rolling budget in the next three months.

"Pakistan's debt is equal to 88 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product. The total budget is of Rs 7,294.90 Billion. They have also projected a deficit of Rs 3,500 billion but I feel they are trying to conceal the real numbers. The total deficit would be around Rs 4,500 billion and this could even go up to Rs 5,000 billion."

"They might have said that this budget is for 2020-21 but I fell that they would have to come up with a rolling budget after three months. The crisis is so deep that they will have to reassess their budget every three months and will be forced to come up with a new budget."

Mirza, who has launched a social media campaign demanding integration of illegally occupied Gilgit Baltistan with Ladakh said that Pakistan was conspicuously giving the region's control to China as it had not allocated even a penny for the projects in Gilgit Baltistan.

"I was expecting a separate allocation for the Bhasha dam but they didn't make an announcement regarding that and instead, they have made a general allocation of Rs 70 billion for the water projects. This could lead to a very dangerous situation as the dam in which China already has 70% will go under their control completely."

Earlier, Pakistan unveiled the annual budget of Rs 7.14 Trillion for the country and allocated Rs 1.3 Trillion to its army, a significant 12 per cent rise from previous year's allocation at a time when the country is in deep economic crisis. (ANI)