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It's not just Venezuaela and Europe has it worse!

The world's a big place with over 8 billion people.

Sadly the US and EU can't absorb everyone who's ruled by a group of exploitive idiots (that covers the majority of the globe). Particularly new entrants who resent the locals, have no work skills etc. The Chinese, Irish, Jews and Mexicans who immigrated to the US quickly integrated into our society, were hard workers and a tremendous asset to our nation. Sadly, not all who immigrate make a nation stronger. The Syrian Civil War caused millions of refugees to wash over the EU. The results have been a train wreck.

A very tricky issue. I

Pakistanis Vote for Imran Khan—and With Their Feet

The country’s continuing crisis has fueled a surge of migrants, nearly a million of whom live in Europe.

By Sadanand Dhume, WSJ

Feb. 14, 2024 12:22 pm ET

A supporter walks past a poster of Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan at his party office in Islamabad, Pakistan,

Pakistan finds itself in crisis again. Last week imprisoned former Prime Minister Imran Khan sent shock waves through the nuclear-armed nation when independent candidates backed by his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Party surged to early leads for well over half of the 266 directly elected seats in Parliament.

The final results announced Sunday were conspicuously worse for PTI, and many allege that Pakistan’s army—long the country’s most powerful institution—rigged things against Mr. Khan. In several constituencies the official vote tally differs wildly from the total arrived at by adding up numbers from individual polling stations. The U.S. and European Union each called for an investigation into allegations of interference in the electoral process. Pakistan’s caretaker prime minister called the elections “free and fair.”

The Election Commission of Pakistan says PTI candidates won 93 seats, comfortably ahead of the 75 seats won by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League but still well short of a majority. Despite lacking the numbers to form a government, Mr. Khan declared victory from prison, and his supporters took to the streets and went to court to protest. Mr. Sharif’s party staked a claim to lead a coalition government.

The results leave no good options for Pakistan. Nawaz Sharif’s younger brother, Shehbaz, appears likely to become prime minister for the second time by cobbling together a coalition with smaller parties, including the Pakistan People’s Party of former prime ministers Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto. But the new government will lack legitimacy in the eyes of many Pakistanis.

Mr. Khan’s against-all-odds victory burnishes his status as a larger-than-life figure in Pakistan. The army and its allies threw everything they had at him. They barred Mr. Khan from running for Parliament, jailed scores of PTI leaders in addition to Mr. Khan, twisted the arms of others to leave the party, and disallowed the PTI from using its well-known electoral symbol, the cricket bat. All this appears only to have strengthened Mr. Khan.

In theory, army chief Gen. Asim Munir could step down and make way for a successor more amenable to the PTI leader’s return to power. But this would be such a massive capitulation from the military that it could throw the state into chaos. As long as Mr. Munir and his top generals remain opposed to Mr. Khan, his odds of getting out of prison—where he is serving at least 14 years on charges ranging from corruption to an “un-Islamic marriage” to his third wife—remain slim. The former prime minister denies any wrongdoing.

Things wouldn’t look much sunnier even if Mr. Khan somehow clawed his way back to power. His brand of Islamic populism—railing against America and promising to turn Pakistan into a welfare state modeled on Medina in the time of the prophet Muhammad—may play well with voters, but it offers no long-term solutions to the country’s deep economic problems.

“Every macro fundamental is flashing red” in Pakistan, Princeton economist Atif Mian tweeted Sunday. Last year the economy contracted. The federal government is effectively broke. Pakistan suffers from high inflation (30% year over year in December), out of control government borrowing and widespread unemployment. In May 2021, a U.S. dollar was worth about 150 rupees. Now it’s worth 280 rupees.

Even before the current crisis, increasing numbers of Pakistanis were fleeing the country. While Pakistani migration to the U.S.—both legal and illegal—remains relatively modest, Europe has already begun to see a surge of Pakistani migrants. Last year’s sinking off the coast of Greece of a rusty fishing trawler with 750 people on board, almost half of them Pakistani, briefly spotlighted illegal Pakistani migration to the continent.

According to the International Organization for Migration, last year Pakistanis made the top 10 list of migrants to Europe for the first time since the border crisis of 2015-16. The Pakistani diaspora worldwide swelled from 5.8 million in 2015 to 6.3 million in 2020. By that year, nearly one million Pakistani nationals lived in Europe, including almost 125,000 in Italy and nearly 80,000 in Germany.

In the past, Western concerns about Pakistan focused on Islamic terrorism and nuclear proliferation. Osama bin Laden was killed in a safe house near Pakistan’s premier military academy, and the Pakistani nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan famously ran a clandestine network that supplied nuclear technology to Iran, Libya and North Korea. The country’s deepening dysfunction ought to add mass migration to the list of worries.

It seems unlikely that Islamabad will get its act together soon. Over more than seven decades, neither Pakistan’s overbearing military nor its feckless politicians have provided the sustained good governance needed for economic development. Unfortunately, these problems don’t look like they’ll be shrinking any time soon.

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