The central theme of this study is involved around
effects of embargoes and the economic sanctions as primary tools of
economic warfare and measures to effectively combat this novel form of
warfare. Since Pakistan is currently facing some economic sanctions,
this article is consequently sought to propose measures by which
Pakistan and other developing countries with narrow economic base could
effectively combat these sanctions.
The goals of economic warfare are to partially
paralyze or completely destroy the enemy's economy, industrial,
political, and military might, leading to the complete social and
The economic warfare was effectively employed against
the Soviet Union, by denying her wheat to feed its people. This forced
Soviet Union to implode in 1990 and its eventual fragmentation into
smaller states. It has also been employed against Iraq immediately after
the Gulf War and Libya in 1992 after the bombing of a Pan Am Airlines
over Lockerbie, in Scotland. While some states did collapse from the
imposition of economic sanction, Syria has been able to resist the grim
economic war it has been subjected to since 1980's. Recently, after nine
eleven, Pakistan is one of the victims.
How to resist the economic warfare? What is our
economic potential? How we can attain the self- sufficiency in the
foreseeable future? What are the factors, which nullify our effort for
self- reliance? What measures would be necessary to acquire the desired
level of sufficiency? What policies are presently pursued to attain
self-reliance and what measures should be taken to attain one of the
most important national goals of economics self-sufficiency after
becoming Atomic Power? These are the questions to be addressed in this
AN OVERVIEW OF ECONOMIC WARFARE
Economic warfare can be defined as "new tactics
carried out by powerful countries to control certain countries in a new
methods of war where traditional nuclear or chemical weapons are
matured." The main object of this war is to destroy, partially or
completely, or paralyze the country and break down its economic
organizations through a well organized plan which can keep its negative
effects for short and long terms politically, economically, socially and
militarily. These wars might be by imposing economical sanction or
boycott, partially or wholly.
For millennia, nations have striven to coerce their
enemies by seizing their food and raw material in transit, destroying
agriculture and means of productions. In the 21st century, economic
warfare has been intensified and refined. One of the primary tools of
such warfare in the recent history has been the tactics of embargo i.e.
denying goods/ technologies that might contribute to enemy's economic
development and war potential. This was effectively applied by the US
and its allies in the cold war era against the communist countries and
was one of the reasons for break-up of the Soviet Union. The more recent
application of economic warfare has been in Libya where the political
leadership has been forced to accept the terms through fear of economic
doom. Pakistan, too, seems to be highly vulnerable to this form of
William Webster, the former CIA President said about
the hidden conflict between Europe and the USA that, 'Our political and
military allies are themselves our economical enemies'. (Samir-1999) The
USA fears the unity of Europe and started to cancel facilities for the
European products and commodities in the USA markets. It imposed fines
on some of the dealings out of the permitted frame by Washington.
In April 1992, the Security Council issued a
resolution imposing sanctions on Libya. Another penalty was imposed
against Libya accusing her of indulging in the bombing of an American
airline over the airspace of Lockerbie. This time, the sanction was not
like that of Iraq. It is limited to not allowing of buying disallowed
military and industrial instruments, preventing the flight of Libyan
civil aircraft, freezing overseas accounts, which made Libya to succumb
to the US order and hand over the culprits, fearing of extension of
sanctions. (Sarbah-1998) On the other hand, the Sudanese were blamed of
hiding persons who tried to assassinate the Egyptian President in Addis
Ababa, then the Security Council imposed in 1996 barring of airways
Following are the major
effects of economic warfare on states with narrow economic base:
ON THE ECONOMIC STATUS:
The external trade
freezes due to imposing sanctions. Internal trade is the alternative but
it is subject to monopolies, which turns the economical status from bad
to worse. The loans increase and the country becomes unable to pay the
debts and new taxes are imposed.
ON THE SOCIAL STATUS:
Diseases because of the
shortage of medicine and medical care especially among children who are
the victims of these wars. Unemployment is another reason due to the
closed factories and unavailability of jobs. All this leads to the
increase of crime and rate of illiteracy and ethical decline.
ON THE POLITICAL STATUS:
It can mostly cause coups
and a new regime holds the power that can support the dominants and
facilitate the interests of the new imperialists in the victim country.
It can also create new political parties, nationalities, minorities and
religious sects that can weaken and divide the country, so it is easy to
control that country and use it as a continuous pressure.
ON THE MILITARY STATUS:
completely damages the military forces of the countries and makes them
unable to reconstruct or develop their weapons to cope with the
international military development. The lack of spare parts and
maintenance make these weapons useless. Besides the country is not
allowed to import them.
METHODS TO RESIST ECONOMIC WARFARE
Syria is a country which was also put under Economic
Warfare crunch and the methods she resisted that war was admirable and
is an example to be followed all over the world:
Syria followed the following methods to resist that war:
internal political policy and a national unity, which gathered all
levels of the people around the leader taking into consideration Syrian
effective foreign policy, which disallowed the Security Council, from
taking a resolution that the sanction is legal by explaining the justice
of our issue to the international opinion.
support of some Arab and Muslim countries
Moreover, countries have started to give priorities
to their economic interests sometimes before their security forces. This
is because the new changes led to the rise of the economic factor in
international relations and the increased competition for raw material
and their desire to open new markets when the local economy of all
countries has represented the greatest importance at all levels.
Economic spies have become more important than military spies. Men who
seek the secrets of modern technology and constructions, even the daily
life of people and what they eat, are much more important than those who
try to find out information and reach military sites and make
ECONOMIC POTENTIALS IN PAKISTAN
Nature has endowed Pakistan with sufficient
resources. Although, some parts of the country experience arid situation
that is compensated by large streams which irrigate the land. It has
rich non-metallic resources and modest oil reserves. It possesses rich
fields of natural gas. Some large and small Hydel projects have been
developed. Its resources could be meager as compared to USA, Russia,
China etc but they are in much better position when compared with
Belgium and Holland.
Economic progress of a country is dependent upon its
economic potential. Main components of economic potential are Human
Resources, Population, Labor Force Participation, Education, Agriculture
Potential, Land Reforms, and Potential of Industrial Sector. Pakistan
has been gifted with all the ingredients of economic potential including
Gas & Petroleum resources, Energy & Power potential. However
these resources are not being utilized and exploited properly.
There are many factors that are responsible for the
non-attainment of the most important national goal; economic
self-sufficiency. They can be divided into two main categories i.e.
internal and external.
& Order Situation
Use of Loans, etc
and World Bank
To achieve the objective of self-reliance the most
important factor is the effective domestic and foreign resource
mobilization. This potential if exploited with proper planning and sound
strategy can bring about dramatic improvement in the economy.
The foreign resources include:
Domestic resources comprise:
financing and credit creations
and corporate savings
Policy & Trade Potential etc
SUGGESTED MEASURES TO ATTAIN ECONOMIC SELF-SUFFICIENCY.
LONG TERM MEASURES
SHORT TERM MEASURES
in Income Tax
promote the Investments
DEFENDING ECONOMIC WARFARE AGAINST PAKISTAN
The government which can immune themselves and their economy against
corruption, collapse, disturbance and manage to have a better society
and economy and do not depend on what they have achieved but try to
Giving stress on the complete development in the financial and producing
Giving attention to the foreign financial flow more than normal because
this affects the economical situation.
Concentrating on the importance of cooperation among under developed
countries because regional blocs are necessary for competition and can
ensure economical development depending on real production of goods.
Sharing of all sectors in the process of economical construction through
economic plurality which makes the private and common sectors bear the
responsibility dealing with all sectors as national ones.
All the economic steps must be well planned in taking the advantage of
previous experiences to avoid any ill effects on problems.
Cooperation with great countries that have political and economical aims
can be beneficial for both countries.
CONCLUSION & RECOMMENDATIONS
A lot of time has already been wasted in making
experiments in Pakistan. Slogans and false hopes cannot satisfy the
masses for long. Economic realities cannot be ignored. Therefore, we
need to make concerted efforts to improve economic conditions in
Political leadership plays a pivotal role in putting
the economy on the right path. Our political system has been in turmoil
for longer period since our independence and so has been economy. Our
inconsistent policies in almost all the sectors of economy, our
indifferent attitude towards development prospects, our inability to
attract foreign investments and our failure to promote export have all
contributed to the present state of economy. Moreover, foreign debts
were not used properly and today debt servicing is taking away a big
chunk out of our budget.
We have the potential of achieving economic
self-sufficiency. Political stability coupled with sincere and able
leadership could put our economy on the right path. Reduction in
population growth, higher savings, exploitation of human resources,
higher investments, improvement in literacy rate and more emphasis on R
& D will help us in achieving our goal of economic self-sufficiency.
Cooperation of the masses is necessary for the
success of such a programme. The nation would cooperate if it finds that
the leadership is honest and sincere about bringing prosperity to all
and not limiting the benefits of development to a selected few. The
strategies suggested in this study are natural, simple and in conformity
with our resources and national needs. The pre-requisites to this recipe
of success are: a committed leadership and the right set of priorities.
Let us see when our dream of economic self-sufficiency would come true.
Following are the few recommendation to attain the
goal of economic self-sufficiency:
Political leadership should use its diplomatic skills to reduce tension
with neighboring countries that will help in cutting down heavy defence
expenditure. The funds thus saved could be used for the development.
It is necessary to encourage small business because they use indigenous
technology, local raw material and machine. Also their technology is
labour intensive, which creates more jobs per unit of investment.
Measures should also be adopted to ensure political stability and better
law and order situation to gain confidence of foreign investors.
Pakistan should have mixed economy with the leading role being assigned
to the private sector.
Agribusiness is still in its infancy and foreign corporate capital
enjoying expertise in this field can find ample opportunities to seize
and we should apprise the foreign investors of these opportunities.
More funds should be allocated to exploit human resources by increasing
literacy, imparting technical training & enhancing R & D.
*The writer is MS/MS student at SZABIST and is
grateful to Prof. Dr. Jalbani, Senior Faculty Member, for his valuable
guidance and support for writing this article.