Imtiaz Rafi Butt These are trying times for Pakistan. Besides the chaotic socio-political issues that plague Pakistan, the citizens of this state had to suffer a depressing environment. The most important factor in Pakistan today is its economy and even though the world is in recession, the signs of recovery are beginning to show themselves for Pakistan. To accurately judge Pakistan's recovery the nature of its economy must be first understood. Historically speaking, Pakistan has a purely political economy. It flourishes only when our interests are in line with that of the West (primarily the US) and our economy suffers whenever we go against their interests or are isolated. This is the dominant trend in Pakistani history, during Ayub Khan's rule, when the US was developing Pakistan and Iran as allies against the Soviet Union and India and Pakistan was providing the US with airbases from which to launch its U2 spy planes deep into the Soviet territory. Aid flowed into Pakistan and Industries flourished. Then during the Zia era, Pakistan was a frontline state in the 10-year war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. The Americans knew that only through Pakistan they can effectively organize, train supply and aid the forces against the Soviet Union. Pakistan in turn received billions of dollars in aid, was encouraged to develop its security apparatus and the Pakistani nuclear programme was overlooked by then President Ronald Reagan. The Pakistani economy grew constantly ignoring the war in the north. Following the October 1999 military coup Clinton refused to shake hands with Musharaf. Soon after 9/11 the US under Bush Pakistani cooperation against the Taliban and Pakistan in return required US aid. It once again led to a boom in the Pakistani economy especially in the Stock Exchange and Real Estate markets. Now the same dynamics of this tested relationship are about to come into play. The new US administration under President Obama has actively begun to assist Pakistan on various issues. This Aid is already being dispersed to Pakistan and will continue to be a primary source of income. This is aimed at making Pakistan effectively combat terrorism. The War on Terror is undeniably a Pakistani war. We cannot run away from our responsibility. The militancy threatens our culture, our ideology and our way of life. Though our nuclear programme still is unacceptable to Israel and India, perhaps to a lesser degree even to the US. The US has little choice but to prevent the destabilization of Pakistan. Any attempt to take over Pakistan's nuclear assets is just too risky given the current regional situation. US interests are in a stable but not strong Pakistan as opposed to China. The latter want a strong Pakistan to act as a counterweight against India. So there should be no doubt that China will develop Pakistan where the US hesitates. If recent statements out of the US executive are to be taken seriously then it can be seen that Pakistan is no longer on the periphery of the US foreign policy but at the core that is now to be fully focused. The Flight of capital from Pakistan has been halted by the destructive conditions of global markets (especially the West and Dubai) and remittances and immigration from OSPs have increased. The promise of building Reconstruction Opportunity Zones is being fulfilled; the electricity crisis is about to be resolved. So when the pledged Aid arrives it will act as a catalyst to start the shattered Pakistani economy. The forecast may seem entirely overoptimistic. However it is a short-term forecast. In a country as unstable as Pakistan, it is impossible to make a long term forecast. Pakistan still has so many problems and inherent shortcomings to overcome and terrorist organization maintain the power to use suicide bombings. However all historical indicators show that in the short- term Pakistani economy and people will bounce back stronger and more resilient than ever before. The writer is Chairman of the Jinnah-Rafi Foundation