Claims Sh. Rashid
ISLAMABAD: Awami Muslim League (AML) chief and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) ally Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Sunday strongly criticised the federal government for its failure in dealing with the economic woes of the country.
In a tweet the former interior minister said that “even China, Dubai, Qatar and Saudi Arabia did not come to [country’s] aid, nor did the IMF’s bailout package arrive”.
He also maintained that the decision to table the no-confidence motion that led to former premier and PTI chief Imran Khan’s ouster was taken in London.
“Economically, the country is stuck,” he added.
The tough conditions set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the revival of the $6 billion bailout package -in particular, the withdrawal of various government subsidies have left the country at a breaking point.
As the rupee continued its record-breaking nosedive, the National Assembly was told on Friday that the government was hopeful that the pressure on the rupee would ease ahead of inflows from the IMF, reckoning that the dollar would fall likely to a level of Rs190 to 210.
Sheikh Rashid has however raised serious questions about the elusive package. He also claimed that “China has serious reservations over the conditions set for [acquisition of] the US aid”.
Raising alarm, the former minister said “only 45 days’ worth of foreign reserves is remaining”.
Pointing to a possible point of disagreement between the coalition government, Rashid also said that “Maulana Fazlur Rehman and the TTP [Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan] have the same stance on the FATA merger”.
Earlier this week, as economic turmoil and depreciating rupee had sent inflation skyward, Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa had swung into action, reaching out to Washington to push the IMF to immediately release nearly $1.2 billion Pakistan needs to stave off serious upheaval.
The army chief’s ‘appeals’ to the United States had been in tandem with his discussions with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif over measures for the restoration of confidence in the economy.
Meanwhile, the civilian leadership had also separately contacted the US’ top diplomat in Islamabad, seeking his help to unlock another $1.4 billion funds from the World Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a top government functionary confirmed.
The developments had reflected the government’s efforts to prevent the economy from tumbling into a profound economic and financial crisis as the clock is ticking on the government to find a way out of the economic crisis that has badly shaken the markets.
Meanwhile, ousted premier Imran Khan had criticised the move saying that it was not the army chief’s job to approach the United States over the Fund deal.
“If these reports are correct that [Chief of Army Staff] General Bajwa is seeking America’s help in getting IMF [loan] it means that the country is getting weaker,” he had said in an interview with a local TV channel on Friday.