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Doing Business in one of the World's most worrying trouble spots

By JJ Hall (Pakistan Airhorn Massive) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The fifth most populous country in the world is a powder keg. And the least one can say about Pakistan is that its fight against terrorism is not very credible. In spite of this, many leaders around the globe, and particularly in Europe, are deliberately ignoring the seriousness of the situation. Of course, we are not questioning the humanitarian assistance to a country with more than 40% of its population living below the poverty threshold. However, this would still require that the money goes to the right people and does not disappear en route. There is little doubt that Pakistan plays a destabilizing role in the region and this affects Afghanistan, in particular. Furthermore, the reality is that Pakistan has never satisfied EU authorities expectations in security cooperation. In these circumstances, the EU, setting aside its political ambitions, decided to focus on commercial activities. According to the latest report from the European Commission the EU is Pakistan's most important trading partner absorbing 23.7% of the country's total exports. We often hear in Brussels one argument to justify such a fatalistic attitude towards the political leaders in that country: if we abandon Pakistan, China will continue to gain ground. And this is true, especially when we know that Chinese authorities plan to invest $55 billion into Pakistan over the next 5 years. However, the EU remained silent for too long with regard to the numerous abuses committed by Pakistan's successive governments. This is why a reassessment of the situation is urgently required.

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