The impact of this war on Pakistan can be seen through two dimensions: political and economic. Pakistan will feel the heat to take sides. In the hurry to show the west that Pakistan still has relevance for the world, there is an adrenaline rush amongst different segments of the society to jump into the Russian ship. Caution must be exercised. “What a time I have come so much excitement,” Prime Minister Khan was heard telling a Russian official in a video shared by Pakistan’s Geo News reporter.’ Reflection upon the situation will lead to an entirely different understanding. The Pakistan Premier’s visit as Russian forces went into offensive against Ukraine, was bad timing. The optics conveyed are being seen as supportive to Russia. The visit understandably did not happen overnight but will be seen as endorsing the Russian action by many. U.S has not reacted kindly to the visit. Pakistan and Russia’s bilateral issues have been relegated to the sub-text in face of this full-blown crisis. Pakistan needs to keep a positive rapport with the west. Due to FATF, IMF, EU and GSP, it is not in a position to ditch its neutrality. Pakistan needs to take a leaf out of the books of India and China. Both have maintained their distance from Russia vs Ukraine. Unlike NATO and US who have military alliances, China does not have the same with Russia. China will not throw its weight behind Russia in this action as it did not seven years ago when the Crimea crisis happened. ‘China cannot recognize the Donetsk and Luhansk republics, because it can lead to the Taiwanese holding their own referendum,’ Alexey Kupriyanov, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, stated in a recent interview. India has so far maintained a neutral stand and is likely to continue doing so in future. The world is seemingly moving towards a bipolar existence, Pakistan needs to balance the West and USSR. Losing its neutrality will corner Pakistan in a spot and it can do without this added pressure. It needs to stress upon use of diplomatic means to resolve the crisis. Under no condition does Pakistan afford to go against Ukraine economically. A war breaking out is very, very bad news for Pakistan. Costs of food items, consumer items, energy among others are already going up. Kiev supplied 39% of Pakistan’s wheat imports last year. It also imports corn, barley, grain, seeds among other items from Ukraine. Outbreak of war will disrupt supplies. Inflation will be the natural negative cascading effect. This in turn will make life even more miserable for the common man, consumer buying power will drop further, production is more likely to fall with cost of production increasing. Investment graph will fall down and economy will contract even further. Job market will go into further stress. Rupee may well hit at two hundred against a dollar making imports very expensive. Pakistan desperately needs to control imports and increase exports but the odds against the latter are formidable and lack of policy to at least temporarily stop imports of luxury items makes the former a dream. The T-80UD tanks up for repairs and modernization bought by Pakistan from Ukraine in 1996 will also go in delay. Pakistan exports 28% of its polyester staple fiber to Ukraine. Furthermore, cost of oil per barrel will shoot up, and this will hit the country’s reserves hard. Law and order situation is going to deteriorate. This will be the natural outcome of fewer jobs to go around, more people falling below the poverty line, inability to make ends meet and spiraling inflation. The failure of government to provide for the masses will lead to creation of a vacuum that will likely be filled by hardline organizations offering help, providing an extremist ideology as a side-dish. Khan’s government has been unable to stop the economy from sliding. It survives on lurching from one loan to the next one. Some factors affecting this are global. Many contribute it to the incompetence of the government in dealing with multidimensional issues. With a year and a half left to go before elections, with no brownie points in horizon, the support of his party is likely to take a nose-dive leaving nothing but slogans against political opponents for next elections. One would not therefore interpret this situation as ‘exciting’. It can be seen as extremely worrisome for Pakistan from any way one looks at it. A dialogue with stakeholders, opinion leaders in Pakistan is needed to devise a policy to face the looming crisis. The writer is a lawyer, academic and political analyst. She has authored a book titled ‘A Comparative Analysis of Media & Media Laws in Pakistan.’ She can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org and tweets at @yasmeen_9.