FOLLOWING Standard and Poor's lead, Moody's, another key financial research agency, has downgraded Pakistan's investment rating. The agency has placed Pakistan's government bond rating in the B2 category as opposed to the earlier B1. This is five levels below investment-grade. The usual gamut of reasons are cited for the downgrade. Lack of fiscal control, political instability, external pressures etc. They're right, of course, about the fiscal bit. According to prior government directives, we were supposed to eventually bring down the fiscal deficit down to 4 percent of GDP. This year's target was 4.8 percent but it could reach 9 percent. There is a spot of good news, however: Moody's has raised Pakistan's outlook from negative to stable, based on expectations of external financial support. The way this thing is to be dealt with is for the government to show some level of commitment to the Fiscal Responsibility Act and at least curtail our non-development expenditure by a significant amount. Another obvious step would be to ensure that the political crisis of the country is resolved promptly. This should not be at the expense of the independence of our judiciary, of course. But the economic dividends of a quick resolution of the judicial crisis should nevertheless be kept in mind.