Foreign Minister Ousted: How the World Sees Political Changes in Pakistan

Ahmed Quraishi 01:29 PM | 30 Apr, 2018
Foreign Minister Ousted: How the World Sees Political Changes in Pakistan
When Nawaz Sharif was back in power in 2013, fourteen years after being ousted in a military coup, many Pakistan-watchers were surprised. After all, what are the chances of a politician’s return to power after the military ousted them? Sharif achieved this feat, only to be barred from politics for life in 2017 in a Supreme Court ruling.

Was the world shocked? You would expect major world interest because this was a compelling story. After all, he is Pakistan’s only third-time elected prime minister, ousted in a military coup, and once had foreign powers, including the United States, negotiating his release. China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the UAE, and the United Kingdom were all involved in Pakistani politics in some way during the past 15 years.

But there is little global interest this time. At least not at the scale of 1999, the first time Nawaz Sharif was ousted. Even the romantic story of the patchy democratic struggle in Pakistan is no longer attractive.

The truth is, there is little international interest left in Pakistani politics. The world is moving fast. Regional countries now join big powers in asserting influence. Economic interests are at stake, and a major power realignment is underway. The Pakistani political fairytale is becoming boring, and repetitive.

This does not mean Pakistan has lost importance. The country cannot be ignored. There is a tectonic shift in politics in this nuclear-armed nation of 200 million. This will have a major bearing on a country that impacts security in three crucial regions: South, West, and Central Asia. Goldman Sachs predicts that Pakistan will be among the top 20 economies by 2025. Jim O’Neill, who coined the term BRIC for Brazil, Russia, India, China in 2011, forecasts that Pakistan could be the world’s 18th largest economy by 2050.

Pakistan is very important. Russia has been courting the country recently. China has made it a linchpin of its Road and Belt Initiative. Major Middle Eastern powers like Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, and Turkey want Pakistan to play a key role in training and creating a NATO-style military organization indigenous to the region.

But it is Pakistani politics that has become the butt of jokes in the region. Pakistan just does not seem to be able to put its house in order. Its political system is too messy for a nuclear power of this size and importance. And while democracy and politics are messy and noisy everywhere, the Pakistani version is so chaotic it could harm Pakistan’s regional and international role.

So, apart from some countries and investment banks watching Pakistani politics closely, major recent developments have largely gone unnoticed outside Pakistan. For the first time, three wealthy and powerful politicians have been permanently barred, with possibly more politicians expected to be banned from holding public office. A new demographic, the young, are asserting influence and could soon change the face of Pakistani politics.

But the world will not wait for Pakistan forever. In the coming days, the Pakistani foreign minister was expected to join his counterparts from Turkey and Saudi Arabia in an OIC-EU dialogue on the future of Jerusalem, an upcoming OIC foreign ministers meeting on Kashmir conflict, and a possible meeting with his Indian counterpart on the sidelines of a multilateral event that was in the works and Pakistani and Indian diplomats were hoping could be an icebreaker. But all of this is in jeopardy now after Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif has been ousted by the Supreme Court for concealing foreign assets. In the days preceding his ouster, Asif interacted with top diplomats from the United States, Russia, and China.

So, Pakistan is a country that is readjusting its political system to suit new realities. But it is a painfully slow process that is costing Pakistan much in terms of its national security interests. While Pakistan is busy inwards, significant developments are shaping the region around Pakistan, from Syria to Myanmar, and Islamabad appears too busy to play a role in securing its interests in this regional flux.

Ahmed Quraishi
Ahmed Quraishi

Ahmed Quraishi is a journalist, public policy writer, researcher and television commentator on security & foreign policy. He tweets @Office_AQpk


Today's currency exchange rates in Pakistan - Dollar, Euro, Pound, Riyal rates on March 30, 2023

KARACHI - Following are the foreign currency exchange rates for US Dollar, Saudi Riyal, UK Pound Sterling, U.A.E. Dirham, European Euro, and other foreign currencies in Pakistan open market on March 30, 2023 (Thursday).

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar ‎USD 283.6 286.65
Euro EUR 305.5 308.5
UK Pound Sterling GBP 348 351.5
U.A.E Dirham AED 77 77.7
Saudi Riyal SAR 75.5 76.3
Australian Dollar AUD 187.5 189.9
Bahrain Dinar BHD 753.99 761.99
Canadian Dollar CAD 206 208.2
China Yuan CNY 41.25 41.65
Danish Krone DKK 41.26 41.51
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 36.11 36.46
Indian Rupee INR 3.45 3.56
Japanese Yen JPY 2.15 2.22
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 925.67 934.67
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 62.85 63.45
New Zealand Dollar NZD 175.57 177.58
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.33 26.63
Omani Riyal OMR 736.34 744.35
Qatari Riyal ‎QAR 77.92 78.62
Singapore Dollar SGD 209.5 211.5
Swedish Korona SEK 26.5 26.8
Swiss Franc CHF 308.25 310.75
Thai Bhat THB 8.28 8.43

Today's gold rates in Pakistan – 30 March 2023

KARACHI - The price of a single tola of 24-karat gold in Pakistan is Rs 207,700 on Thursday.The price of 10 grams of 24k gold was recorded at Rs178,070.   

Likewise, 10 grams of 22k gold were being traded for Rs163,624 while a single tola of 22-karat gold was being sold at Rs 190,880.

Note: The gold rate in Pakistan is fluctuating according to the international market so the price is never been fixed. The below rates are provided by local gold markets and Sarafa Markets of different cities.

City Gold Silver
Lahore PKR 207,700 PKR 2,470
Karachi PKR 207,700 PKR 2,470
Islamabad PKR 207,700 PKR 2,470
Peshawar PKR 207,700 PKR 2,470
Quetta PKR 207,700 PKR 2,470
Sialkot PKR 207,700 PKR 2,470
Attock PKR 207,700 PKR 2,470
Gujranwala PKR 207,700 PKR 2,470
Jehlum PKR 207,700 PKR 2,470
Multan PKR 207,700 PKR 2,470
Bahawalpur PKR 207,700 PKR 2,470
Gujrat PKR 207,700 PKR 2,470
Nawabshah PKR 207,700 PKR 2,470
Chakwal PKR 207,700 PKR 2,470
Hyderabad PKR 207,700 PKR 2,470
Nowshehra PKR 207,700 PKR 2,470
Sargodha PKR 207,700 PKR 2,470
Faisalabad PKR 207,700 PKR 2,470


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