A Perspective from Pakistan: The Ukraine Crisis is Everybody’s Crisis

By Haya Fatima Sehgal
The village of Novoselivka, near Chernihiv.
(Photo by Oleksandr Ratushniak / UNDP Ukraine)
The Ukraine crisis is everybody’s crisis. It is also everybody’s conversation that must take place. The brutalities faced by the Ukrainians are heartbreaking and the resilience in their struggle for freedom must be hailed.

It is very much Pakistan’s concern as the country now submits defeat to energy and food fatigue due to externalities of the same cycle which have engulfed the world.

Energy, which is the bane of subsistence for human life, is the ‘blackmail’ which seems to be holding a globe hostage. Ukraine crisis-induced inflation in the energy sector has created economic volatility for many countries across the world, not just those directly affected by the war.

Pakistan was undoubtedly considered a diplomatic disappointment in the eyes of the world, twice over, when it chose to abstain in the UNGA vote against Russia. It is 1 out of the 35 countries to do so.

As a country, it has certainly carried the brunt of playing neutral. Perhaps the most transparent conversation the state had was when a politician said it would face economic repercussions in many occasions of the choices it makes. If one said so, then that is an indication that was possibly given to the nation.

Russia and China stand as the main investors in the developments in BRI which Pakistan badly needs, at least the CPEC portion, for the future of its geoeconomic stability.

The power bloc Pakistan is engaged, which leaves it under intense economic pressure and the threat of losing more than it can withstand.

Pakistan has been facing an energy crisis for a decade, now with less than 3 billion foreign reserves – which is not enough for even one monthly import bill, there is no other way to diversify its sources of oil and gas.

Recently, there was news that Pakistan has signed several agreements with Russia to increase cooperation in the energy sector that includes the construction of pipelines and the development of oil and gas fields.

The challenges in this trade are still significant – competition from other suppliers, regional instability, and difficulties in transportation will be factors to consider for implementation. Pakistan is set between two mega powers with deeply vested interests and offerings of future investment, all of which have previously dictated its many diplomatic silences on several humanitarian issues.

In the wake of the floods that hit Pakistan, the destruction of the agricultural crops for this year and the next has created a volatile situation within the agrarian-based society. Official figures perceive that a total of 5.7 million will face a food crisis in the country.

The rising global energy price index due to the war has certainly now exacerbated the energy, water and food insecurity to immeasurable heights in Pakistan.

In addition, the political chaos has been detracting from implementing monetary instruments to control the galloping inflation within.

Given it faces a looming economic default, Pakistan has also very little means and ability to switch its infrastructure to alternate sources of power such as Renewable Energy (RE).

None of the above meant it should have played neutral or held hostage in the wake of the humanitarian crisis which is occurring in Ukraine.

Greater conversations should take place that the war on Ukraine brings a world on the brink of devastation due to a ripple effect. The Ukraine crisis was going to be a cataclysm for every country in the world in somewhat way or manner.

The Ukrainian conflict was never just a regional conflict alone. It impacts global events at a larger scale which has enveloped many countries. It is simply a war in different fronts humanity.

A new world reaps multilayered connections for cooperation by negotiation, trade, and exchange of knowledge while respecting the value of human life.

If anything, what should have come forth from the lessons learned from the global pandemic, is that this is the age to establish multilateral avenues.

The Ukrainian crisis has brought forward a moment of truth for many nations. It is a humanitarian crisis and an economic nightmare exceeding all limits. All in a stubborn, megalomaniac bid for world dominance.

Whatever the political stance that remains locked and tied down, there is no better way than to just say it with words – the Ukraine crisis is a global concern.

The writer is known for her articles on socio-cultural impact.

This article first appeared in Daily Times. click here to go to the original.

 

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