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Not the job of Army Chief to deal with economic matters: Imran Khan

The Hawk
July30/ 2022

Islamabad (Pakistan): Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Friday said that Pakistan is getting weaker after the country's Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa sought help from the US to secure an early loan dispersal from the International Monetary Fund.

PTI chief said that it was not the job of the Army Chief to deal with economic matters, Geo TV reported.

"If the news of Pakistan Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa contacting the United States officials for early dispersal of loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was true, it means we [Pakistan] are getting weaker," he added.

He also questioned whether the US will demand anything in return if it decides to help Pakistan.

According to a report by Nikkei Asia on Friday, Bajwa has urged the United States to help Islamabad secure an early dispersal of loan from the IMF.

Bajwa requested the White House and Treasury Department to urge the lender to expedite the bailout process and immediately release the nearly USD 1.2 billion that Pakistan expects to receive under a resumed loan programme, Geo TV reported.

Commenting on the development, the former prime minister said that neither the Washington-based lender trusts the government nor do other countries, "I think that's why the army chief has taken the responsibility now." Pakistan's Geo TV reported citing sources that the army chief reached out to the US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman on a phone call earlier in the week, as Pakistan faces the risk of debt default due to dwindling foreign reserves.

Speaking of the poor economic condition in the country, Khan said, "At this moment, the most alarming thing is the lack of trust of the market, somebody has to be held accountable for the current situation." He reiterated his demands for early elections and said that political stability can only be seen when fair and transparent elections are conducted.

"Those sitting in power are afraid of the elections," he said, recalling that when he was ousted from the office, he did nothing except for approaching the public.

"If the coalition government had announced early elections, today the country would have been saved from this disaster," the PTI chairman said, citing the absence of a future roadmap by the coalition government as one of the reasons behind the economic crisis, Geo TV reported.

I don't have any personal grudges with anybody. I had healthy relations with Nawaz and [late] Benazir Bhutto; however, my problem is corruption as they come into power and make money for themselves," he highlighted.

Earlier this month, the IMF reached a staff-level agreement with Pakistan authorities for the conclusion of the combined seventh and eighth reviews of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

Despite the agreement, the ongoing political and economic turmoil in the country has raised concerns among investors, Pakistan's Business Recorder reported.

Since the start of 2022, the rupee has lost over 30 per cent of its value, according to the Foreign Exchange Association of Pakistan.

This downfall of Pakistani rupees comes as Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings said they expect Pakistan to secure the USD 1.2 billion bailouts from the International Monetary Fund.—ANI

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