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Pakistanis feel inflation, not Kashmir, is biggest problem facing them: Survey

Spiralling inflation and unemployment are the biggest problems haunting the people of Pakistan and not the Kashmir issue, according to a survey by Gallup International in all four provinces of the cash-strapped country.

The study, which was published by Gallup and Gilani Pakistan on Tuesday, said 53 per cent of respondents believe the country’s economy, specifically increasing inflation, is the biggest problem facing the country.

Worries of inflation is followed by unemployment (23%), corruption (4%) and water crisis (4%), the survey said.

While the Pakistan government is trying hard to internationalise Kashmir, only 8 per cent of the people surveyed voiced their concern over the issue.

The survey also mentions fears over political instability, power crisis, dengue outbreak among other issues.

Gallup Pakistan said the survey’s sample comprised men and women from across the four provinces — Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh.

Pakistan’s economy has struggled in the last few years.

In July, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had said Pakistan was facing “significant economic challenges” due to weak and unbalanced growth and that its economy is at a critical juncture where it needs an ambitious and bold set of reforms.

At the time, Pakistan had a currency reserve of less than USD 8 billion, enough only to cover 1.7 months of imports.

Pakistan and the IMF signed a USD 6 billion bail out package this year, aimed at returning sustainable growth to the country’s fragile economy and improve the standards of living.

Other than the IMF, Pakistan has secured substantial bailout packages from Qatar, China, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

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