June 16, 2024

Islamabad, July 17: Pakistan recently secured a bailout package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to contain its crumbling economy. Amid this, it has decided to spend a whopping PKR (Pakistani rupee) 40 crore to hoist a 500-foot-tall flag mast.

 

Pakistan’s Punjab province will hoist the flag at Liberty Chowk in Lahore on August 14 to mark its Independence Day. This comes as the country needs at least Rs 2,000 crore to repay foreign loans (plus interest) over the next two years.

In 2017, Pakistan raised a 400-foot-tall flag along the Attari-Wagah border in an apparent ‘flag war’. The 120×80-foot flag was the largest since Pakistan’s creation in 1947 and the tallest in South Asia. Pakistan’s move came after India hoisted a 360-feet high flag in March 2017 at a cost of Rs 3.5-crore.

India already has plans to install a 413 feet flag Tricolor at the Attari border and the talks are on for the last one year. The flag pole will be 18 feet taller than the Pakistani Parcham-e-Sitarah-o-Hilal, flying atop a 400-feet high mast on the Wagah side.

Member of Parliament Gurjeet Singh Aujla who had taken up the matter with the Ministry of National Highways Authorities of India (NHAI), said the project is almost complete and is expected to be opened in the current month.
“The Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways will be present on the day of opening,” he said.

Pakistan’s severe economic crisis

The decision comes even as the country faces massive economic crisis after last year’s devastating floods which killed 1,739 people, destroyed 2 million homes and caused $30 billion in damage.

On July 11, Saudi Arabia transferred USD 2 billion to the country’s central bank. A day later, Pakistan received USD 1 billion from the UAE to boost its reserves. On July 13, IMF granted a $3 billion bailout for Pakistan to avoid debt default.

 

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