Islamabad: Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif has presented a bleak picture of the country’s falling economy, regretting that even friendly countries had started looking at Pakistan as one that was always begging for money. “Today, when we go to any friendly country or make a phone call, they think that we have come (to them) to beg for money,” the PM said in an address to a lawyers’ convention.
Sharif said even small economies have surpassed Pakistan, “and we have been wandering for the past 75 years carrying a begging bowl”. According to the PM, the country’s economy was facing a “challenging situation” even before the floods, which had made it more “complicated”.
The cash-strapped nation was struggling with the worst floods in the past 30 years, leaving more than 1,400 dead and 33 million people affected since early June.
The UN said $150 million have been pledged so far in response to flash appeals for Pakistan’s flood victims but only $38 million has been converted into assistance. While several countries have come forward to provide aid to Pakistan, Pakistan and the UN had launched an appeal for $160 million in initial funding out of which $150 million has been pledged.