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PAKISTAN IN THE AFTERMATH OF CORONA VIRUS.

Many assume that South Asia is a set for the coronavirus and that millions of deaths are likely to have been caused by a poor and unstable region. Maybe it’s okay, and the countries of the region are closing the locks. But there are also reasons to think that Covid-19 could have less of an impact on South Asia than many fears.

May 09, 2020

/ by APP
Economy of Pakistan - Wikipedia

Many assume that South Asia is a set for the coronavirus and that millions of deaths are likely to have been caused by a poor and unstable region. Maybe it’s okay, and the countries of the region are closing the locks. But there are also reasons to think that Covid-19 could have less of an impact on South Asia than many fears.

South Asia often brings to mind images of large cities with slums, poverty, poor sanitation, and disease. Indeed this means that when the virus is inevitably caught in the region, countries like India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh will suffer much higher mortality rates and economic and social development in developed countries.

Like anywhere else, the media in Pakistan is trying to figure out how to report the spread and effects of Covid-19, which is equally prevalent in the state and society. Due to the environment of free speech and immunity from crimes against journalists, one of the most difficult places on the planet to practice journalism in the pre-epidemic era, the Pakistani media has struggled to fulfill its mandate of guarding the public interest. The new challenges are many. Reporting on COVID-19

Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed confidence that despite the many challenges posed to Pakistan by the spread of the coronavirus, it could emerge as a strong nation and truly become a welfare state as envisioned had gone.

But demographics are also pro-South Asia. India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are among the youngest countries in the world, with 5-8% of their population over 60 years of age and 2-3% over 70 years of age. With about 85 to 90 percent of the population over 60, it can pose a threat to a small population.

Second, what could the Covid-19 crisis mean for social order and political stability in Pakistan? The story is that we are not seeing the news of scoring runs on basic things or the equivalent of toilet paper wars that are affecting Australian supermarkets. Although they have very few resources for social welfare, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh may have greater economic resilience than many rich countries. People generally rely less on the state and may have more experience dealing with disasters. Strong social and religious traditions can also provide a valuable resource to help with resilience.

Third, measures taken to reduce the spread of the virus have economic consequences, including food security. India, Pakistan and Bangladesh have experienced relatively high economic growth over the years, although it has been slowing down. India's large and relatively shell refugee economy (as evidenced by the withdrawal from the RCEP trade agreement) is likely to help protect it from global shocks, such as in the 2009 global financial crisis. Across the border, Bangladesh, which relies heavily on trade, may be less likely. Pakistan, which recently needed a bailout from the International Monetary Fund, is also very fragile.

Last, there is regional security. The consequences of the Code 19 crisis for security and regional relations are likely to be felt over many years, with many unexpected second and third-order effects. But they could potentially be less negative in South Asia.

Author: Ayyan Ahmed

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