The infelicitous phrase ‘international basket case’ might better apply to Pakistan today than when it was applied to Bangladesh in the 1970s — Pakistan’s former eastern half. Bangladesh has surpassed Pakistan economically and in quality of life. There is even talk of Bangladesh graduating to upper middle-income country status. Quite a reversal of fortune as no one talks about Pakistan that way.
Pakistani economists lament that Bangladesh overtook Pakistan in just a couple of decades. Pakistan’s remittance earnings are greater than its stagnating export earnings, and both combined can’t pay for its imports. The Pakistani economy is in a precarious state and some are calling for Pakistan to suspend payment on its ever-increasing foreign debt, the largest portion held by China at 30 per cent.
Can Pakistan avoid becoming an international basket case? (eastasiaforum.org)