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Pakistan’s markets uneasy but supportive

With Pakistan once again becoming a frontline state, the financial community is preparing for the worst. Despite this, Pakistan's move to support the US has brought comfort to the market.

       
A troubled border: near the Afghanistan-
Pakistan frontier

Pakistan lost no time in reacting to the terrorist attacks on the US. The Securities&Exchange Commission in Karachi ordered an immediate shutdown of the stock exchange for the first three trading days of the week following the attacks, after the markets went into free fall.


"They realized that Pakistan had once again become a frontline state," says a banker in Karachi. "The government is clearly bracing itself for short-term turmoil in the financial markets." So, too, are the financial markets themselves. No sooner had Pakistan's president, general Pervez Musharraf, announced his decision to back the US war on terrorism than the American Express office in the northern city of Peshawar, near the Afghan border, took down its sign. So far, the markets as well as the mainstream political parties have shown unanimous solidarity with the government's policy.


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