Pakistan's literate class, which is in a position to contribute to the country's economy, is leaving the country in droves due to sheer disillusionment. This brain drain has been going on for the last many years. By one estimate, close to 200,000 professionals, along with their families, have migrated to other countries for good in the last 9 years. Flight of capital is alarming. Around $1 billion has been invested in real estate of Dubai alone, owing to security fears in Pakistan. A still more serious dimension of the security crisis was witnessed recently after a series of killings and abductions of foreigners took place. The victims included foreign engineers, diplomats, journalists, businessmen and skilled workers working on Pakistani soil. The economy is virtually crippled due to atrocious security conditions. Unemployment is at an all time high and rising rapidly; inflation is taking a whopping 29 percent hike every week. Pakistan's economic ratings have been downgraded from B to CCC. The balance of payment crisis is so severe that it has imperiled the country's ability to meet debt obligations. Import bills can now be catered for only about two months. A $ 6 billion Saudi oil facility is still in doldrums and with out it, the future looks bleak. -KHUBAIB USMANI, Islamabad, via e-mail, October 10.