The win of Nawaz Sharif led PML in the recent general elections in Pakistan has been welcomed by the Pakistan Inc and reflected in the manner in which Karachi Stock Exchange shot up after the declaration of the results. The business community in Pakistan is happy as it anticipates a period of growth that was witnessed the last time Nawaz was the Prime Minister of the country. The military (read Army) has kept mum ever since the elections results came out and has reacted cautiously to the victory of PML.The index of the KSE has risen to an all time high of 20,244 points. It is for the first time in history that KSE has crossed this psychological barrier. Though the market has gone up by almost 20% in a period of one year, analysts feel that the victory of Nawaz Sharif is a shot in the arm for the share market that was apprehensive of a hung parliament. There were widespread fears that a weak and unstable coalition government would come into power. However, resounding victory of PML obliterates any fears that the party would require the support of PPP and Tehreek-I-Insaaf party of cricketer turned politician Imran Khan. This is being explained as the reason why the stock markets have responded in such a jubilant manner.
It was during the last decade of the last millennium that Nawaz held the reigns of Pakistan twice. It was also the period that was marked by economic revival and growth. Nawaz is being seen by the business community as pro business and the popular sentiment is being echoed by the share market of Karachi. Investors and business leaders are hopeful that his pro business policies will lead to an economic revival and a period of growth in Pakistan once again. Though Nawaz has no magic wand, he is seen by millions of Pakistanis as a person who can cure the bleeding economy of the country. At one point of time, KSE had 650 companies listed on it but the number has dropped down to 569 because of closures and unstable political circumstances.
Nawaz led PML government will face a stern test of its abilities on the economic front as the country is reeling under acute power shortage. The last time Nawaz Sharif was at the helm, Pakistan fared better on the economic front as its economy grew by 3.8% a year for the entire period. The economic growth fell down to 3% during the 5 year rule of President Zardari.
The latest surge by the KSE index has added around Rupees 10000 crores to the wealth of the Pakistani investors. Nawaz Sharif is an industrialist himself and leads a conglomerate called Ittefaq. After winning the general elections, Sharif said that revival of the country’s economy would be his top most priority. Though he declined to say anything more, he knows more than anyone else that his biggest problems are going to be rising Islamic militancy and the energy crisis in the country.