Pakistan is facing a ticking time bomb in the form of its poverty crisis. Recently, the World Bank’s report says that this year, another 1.25 crore people have been pushed into poverty, with the total number of people living below the poverty line now at 9.6 crore. Nearly 40% of the population lives below the poverty line, and the situation is only getting worse. With the rising cost of living, lack of infrastructure, and weak economic policies, ordinary Pakistanis are struggling to make ends meet.
Economists say that the provinces of Pakistan-occupied-Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are the most poverty-ridden regions in the country. The rising cost of living, lack of infrastructure, and weak economic policies have all had a negative impact on the lives of ordinary people in these provinces. However, the major issue is that Pak Army has targeted these regions specifically for their resources. Illegal-occupation of these regions was their only motive, the Paki establishment just wanted to exploit their resources and benefits of the resources should be reap by the Panjabi Pakistan.
The World Bank also said that the income of middle-class people in Pakistan has decreased by 34.5% since 2018, with the daily income per person dropping to $3.20.
Where poverty meets inequality
Pakistan economists have blamed the authorities . They suggest that more taxes from the affluent-class should be used to provide assistance to the lower-class. The United Nations Development Agency (UNDP) reports that the highest poverty rate in Pakistan is 65% in Balochistan, followed by 50.7% in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 50% in Sindh, and 25% in Punjab.
Economists highlighted that the middle class has a special status in a country’s economic development and they can play an important role in the country’s development. They point to India as an example, where the middle class of 56 crore people pays for education, goes shopping, and buys things, which is why all countries want to invest in India, build factories and export their products in India.
The World Bank report also says that the per capita income in South Asia has increased by four percent over the past 20 years, but Pakistan, which previously had the highest per capita income among South Asian countries, remains the last in this region.
The report’s findings are alarming and highlight the urgent intervention by the international communities. Pakistan-occupied-Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are under the strong grapples of the brutal regime, they need humanitarian assistance and support for freedom not these reports that doesn’t address their scar.
For far too long, Pakistan-occupied-Balochistan has witnessed enforced disappearances, targeting political activists, students, and civilians by the Pak Army. They are subjected to torture, and their lifeless bodies are discarded in isolated areas.