• By Ubaid Sahil

In the future, the world may present even greater challenges than it does today. Advancements and digitalization bring forth new and unexpected challenges. It is now imperative for us to prepare to face these impending challenges.

For the Pakistani nation, which is already grappling with numerous battles for survival, the path ahead is even more daunting. From economic and democratic instabilities to educational and systemic failures, Pakistan finds itself ensnared in the chains of uncertainty and inequity. Overcoming today’s challenges and preparing for the future are of paramount importance. Let’s delve into the various challenges that Pakistan currently faces and those that lie on the horizon.

Pakistan’s economy is currently navigating one of the most challenging periods in its history. While we have successfully averted the risk of economic default, challenges persist. Both our military establishment and civil leadership are actively working to attract foreign investments, particularly from Middle Eastern nations and China. However, our economy requires more sustainable resources to achieve stability. Long-term economic projects are the need of the hour, and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) can play a pivotal role in bolstering our economy. Developing infrastructure through CPEC can help alleviate many of our infrastructure challenges. Achieving economic stability necessitates tax reforms, fiscal discipline, increased foreign and domestic investments, export diversification, energy sector reforms, tourism sector reforms, agricultural reforms, investments in educating and equipping the youth with valuable, in-demand skills, reducing corruption, and effective debt management. The global order is significantly influenced by economic strength, with nations possessing robust economies leading the world in various aspects.

The state of democracy in Pakistan is a cause for concern. Political instabilities breed disappointment and hopelessness among the common people. Many are losing hope in the future of the country due to the mounting political instabilities. This issue has deep historical roots dating back to the mid-20th century. Pakistan has endured four periods of martial law dictatorships, alongside other political challenges. The solutions to these crises involve good governance, strengthening the rule of law, limiting the powers of institutions, promoting media freedom, and establishing a clear demarcation of civil-military relations.

Education is a significant future challenge for Pakistan. It is alarming that millions of children, estimated at around 28 million, are currently out of school. This large population of uneducated and unaware children poses potential threats to Pakistan’s future, such as a rise in crime rates and increased terrorism. Criticism of our education system is rooted in its poor quality and illogical restrictions. Pakistan boasts one of the world’s largest proportions of young people, but regrettably, many of them lack skills and are unemployed. Providing these youths with valuable, in-demand skills is crucial to maintaining a sustainable employment rate. With improved and high-value skills, these young individuals have the potential to contribute significantly to the economy, as evident in Pakistan’s thriving freelancing sector, which ranks among the top 5 globally.

The future is marked by a shared economy, with numerous economic and political blocs emerging and reshaping the world order from the West to the Eastern world. China is currently asserting itself as a global leader in both economic and political spheres, in competition with the United States, while Russia also plays a significant role. To counter China’s growing influence, the United States is strategically investing in India. The future may witness a world with fewer borders, as barriers that divide people gradually break down. More countries might adopt a European Union-style approach by opening their borders to facilitate economic and trade relations with neighboring nations. Presently, Pakistan’s relations with its neighbors face challenges, but it is imperative that, in the future, Pakistan resolves these issues and seeks to foster open and cooperative borders.

Terrorism remains a major issue for Pakistan, and it is currently on the rise at an alarming pace. Brutal terrorist attacks are frequently reported, with a particular focus on targeting the armed forces. The roots of terrorism in Pakistan can be traced back to the Afghan Wars, resulting in losses of billions of dollars and more than seventy thousand lives. Recent events have seen the emergence of militant groups such as the TTP and IS-KP. The TTP focuses its attacks on the armed forces and police, while IS-KP targets religious events and political gatherings. To foster a developed and sustainable future, Pakistan must take decisive action to eradicate terrorism entirely. Otherwise, it will persist at the current rate, exacting a significant toll on our nation, including the loss of precious lives.

Climate change and global warming represent the most perilous challenges confronting the world today. These crises are giving rise to extreme and unpredictable weather patterns, droughts, catastrophic floods, and severe storms, posing a grave threat to life on our planet, Earth. Species are in jeopardy due to climate change, with the potential for extinction in the future. Rising sea levels attributed to global warming are placing coastal cities at risk of submersion. Numerous coastal cities worldwide, including our economic hub, Karachi, could face submersion due to these rising sea levels. Throughout Earth’s history, it has witnessed five major mass extinctions. According to researchers, we are currently experiencing the sixth mass extinction, known as the ‘Anthropocene.’ Each of the past five major mass extinctions has wiped out over 75% of species from its era, and the ongoing mass extinction could potentially threaten human survival. Internationally, these crises are receiving significant attention, with
concerted efforts aimed at slowing down these phenomena. Pakistan should also implement national-level initiatives to combat climate change and global warming. Recently, the UN announced the arrival of a new era called ‘Global Boiling’ as a stark indicator of the serious threats posed by these changes.

  • The author is an undergraduate student and freelance writer. He can be reached at ubaidsa9@gmail.com

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