- Says lender team told to give poor top priority in the program
- Asks economic stability can’t be achieved sans a political stability
LAHORE, Pakistan: The former Prime Minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan made it clear that the PTI assured to provide support for a recently-reached nine-month US$ 3 billion stand-by arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the sake of the Country, however, he added that he told the IMF team that at present the Country’s weaker section was in dire straits and special attention should be given to them in this program.
While addressing the nation on Friday night, the PTI Chairman said that he along with his party economic team met with the IMF delegation to discuss the staff-level agreement.
The IMF team called upon Chairman Imran Khan at his residence today. The meeting was attended by IMF country chief Nathan Porter who joined virtually from Washington and Resident Representative Esther Perez who was physically present.
PTI’s team included Chairman Imran Khan,…
— Hammad Azhar (@Hammad_Azhar) July 7, 2023
Imran Khan said that he kept on saying for the last 13 months that if the government continued in the same way, there was a risk of default of the Country.
The former prime minister said that if the Country defaulted and cannot repay its loans the inflation would be doubled and would be soared to 60 percent from 38 percent at present which was the highest in the history of the Country.
The PTI Chairman alarmed that the default would badly hurt the weaker segment and the salaried class, but would only benefit those whose wealth stashed abroad.
Imran Khan recalled that when the PTI government sought the then opposition’s (PDM) support to pass the law to avert the looming threat of being blacklisted by FATF, they linked their support with NRO to give them relief in corruption cases to tweak NAB law first.
جب FATF نے پی ٹی آئی حکومت سے negotiations کرنی تھیں تب یہی پی ڈی ایم کی جماعتیں اپنی کرپشن بچانے کے لئے این آر او مانگ رہی تھیں- اور آج ہم ایسے وقت پر مدد کر رہے ہیں جب ہمارے دس ہزار کارکنان جیل میں ہیں اور ہماری پوری لیڈرشپ پر کریک ڈاؤن ہو رہا ہے-@ImranKhanPTI pic.twitter.com/e2PDFo5iMQ
— Virk Shahzaib (@VirkSh786) July 7, 2023
The PTI Chairman said that they did not give them NRO, resultantly they refused to support the PTI government. Nevertheless, he said that they passed that law and got off FATF’s gray list as a result.
Imran Khan stated that they would support the IMF program because they never wanted to damage the Country come what may, adding that they conveyed that the IMF team that they would support its standby agreement until new government voted to power. However, he added that obviously, when new elected government took the reign, it would discuss the financial deal with its own way.
The PTI Chairman emphasized that he recalled all these to tell the people that they should know the difference that these were the people who were blackmailing the PTI government to save their corruption, adding that today was a similar situation when we are helping them, as the IMF needed our help because the lender knew that the caretaker government was coming, which cannot do all this and they need the consensus of all the parties.
The former premier stated that they were doing this help only for Pakistan at a time when 10,000 of PTI workers were in jails, adding that our entire economic team was underground gathered them for Friday’s meeting while 180 cases filed against him and all their senior people were in jail, and when they were bailed out, they were rearrested if they refused to quit the PTI.
The PTI leader said that they were repeating AJK like drama in Gilgit-Baltistan to deprive PTI of its mandate, as despite having clear majority, pressure tactics were being applied to force the party lawmakers to change their loyalties.
Imran Khan stated that despite all these brutal tactics and ham-handed approach, they were supporting the IMF financial package until elections were held.
The PTI Chairman revealed that he explained one thing to the head of the IMF that political stability was a must in the Country or else providing 3 or 5, 6 billion dollars to Pakistan would be tantamount to treat cancer with disparin.
Imran stated that the cancer was that there was no political stability in the Country, which was spreading first, because all these parties and the establishment were not holding elections until weaken PTI not able to fight the election at all.
The PTI leader went on to say that since the regime change, they were trying to destroy PTI, those who were sitting in power had no concern for the Country, which was evident from the fact that they ruined the fast-booming economy. He stated that the controlled media was only blaming PTI for all these problems.
The former prime minister stated that it was clear in the economic survey that in 2018, the bankrupt economy was growing at the level of 6% despite Corona, adding that industry was growing, exports, remittances and taxes were increasing.
The PTI Chairman said that this time around, the PML-N led government again artificially controlled the value of the rupee due to which remittances and exports declined alarmingly, adding that import of raw materials was banned, resultantly industry was closing down and tax collection was decreased.
Imran Khan recalled that they were receiving US$ 3 billion from the IMF in this agreement, while Pakistan had lost US$ 7 billion in one year due to lack of imports and exports, adding that debts were piling up and increasing and income was shrinking.
Imran asked can a country run like this and added that how long this practice will last? He said that there was no political stability, as people were leaving the Country. In this situation, no one knew what would be the future of Pakistan.
The former premier said that that’s why they explained the same to the IMF that until polls were held political stability could not come and the economy was directly linked to political stability but unfortunately those in power were going in another direction.
The PTI leader stated that the situation could only improve when a government came to power through public support for 5 years, which could make difficult decisions, adding that they would reduce inflation, bring the dollar below 200.
However, he said that the engineering efforts that were being made now would bring back the same people and to eliminate PTI, adding that there was no future for the Country.
The PTI Chairman said that they asked the IMF to hold elections according to the constitution, adding that cancer would be cured when people elected their government, which could bring reforms in the Country, establish rule of law so as foreign investments could be convince to invent in the Country, only then wealth generation would be increased.
However, he feared that those who were sitting in power had some other plan which was leading Pakistan towards destruction, adding that they told the IMF that at present the weaker section was in dire straits and special attention should be given to them in this program.
The PTI Chairman stated that the health card, which provided free treatment to the poor and middle class up to Rs 10 lakh, was being abolished, adding that they were going to give targeted subsidies to protect the lower class from the current inflation.
Imran Khan said that they discussed these things with the IMF but what would happen he did not know.
However, he stressed that it was very important for all of them to understand that if the same people were to be brought back through political engineering and the biggest party of the Country was to be eliminated, the biggest sufferer would be people of Pakistan who would not tolerate it, resultantly situation would be get out of control like in Sri Lana but at present situation in Sri Lanka has become better than ours.