Pervez Musharraf, the former President and Chief Executive of Pakistan, is a well-known figure in the political history of Pakistan. He came to power through a bloodless coup in 1999 and remained in power until 2008. During his tenure, he played a crucial role in strengthening regional connectivity and fulfilling the geo-economic interests of Pakistan.
Musharraf was a strong advocate of regional connectivity, and he took several measures to enhance the economic cooperation between Pakistan and its neighbors. He initiated several infrastructure development projects that included highways, railways, and ports, to improve connectivity with China, Iran, and Afghanistan. One of the significant projects was the Gawadar port, which is strategically located near the Persian Gulf and is considered a gateway for trade with Central Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.
Musharraf also initiated the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a massive infrastructure development project that aims to connect China’s western region with Pakistan’s Gwadar port. This project has immense strategic and economic significance as it will not only boost trade between the two countries but also enhance regional connectivity and promote economic development in the region.
Musharraf also pursued protectionist policies to protect the geo-economic interests of Pakistan. He believed that protectionism was necessary to safeguard domestic industries from the competition posed by foreign goods. He imposed tariffs on several imported items, including automobiles, textiles, and electronic items, to boost the local industry.
Under Musharraf’s leadership, the economy of Pakistan witnessed significant growth, and the country’s foreign reserves increased manifold. He also initiated several measures to attract foreign investment in the country. He believed that foreign investment was crucial for economic growth, and he took several steps to improve the business climate in the country.
Hence, the given facts assist the study to conclude that Pervez Musharraf played a crucial role in strengthening regional connectivity and fulfilling the geo-economic interests of Pakistan. His efforts towards regional connectivity and infrastructure development projects have brought Pakistan closer to its neighbors, which has resulted in increased economic cooperation and trade. Furthermore, his protectionist policies have helped to protect the domestic industries and promote local manufacturing.
Note: This article is written by Dr. Muhammad Asim for the Pak-Iran Intellectuals Forum (Islamabad Office)