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LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has said that fresh elections were imperative to remove ‘imposed rulers’ as both the local and foreign investors had lost faith in them; “we need a strong elected government that can take necessary steps to correct the economy, which is currently facing severe challenges”.

He expressed the views while addressing a virtual meeting with his economic advisors of his party including former federal finance minister Shaukat Tarin, Dr Salman Shah, Omer Ayub and former State Bank of Pakistan Governor Syed Saleem Reza.

The former prime minister further said that foreign investors and commercial banks were unwilling to invest in Pakistan because the country’s credit rating was very poor and it has become a ‘high default risk’ country. He feared that things would get out of control for everyone.

While addressing the ‘institutions’, he averred that one part of the national security that his government had formulated has two key components, military and economics. “The current economic situation will have effects on the institution,” he added.

He warned the nation and the institutions of dire consequences if the country defaulted. Citing an example of the Soviet Union, he pointed out that it had the mightiest army in the world, but it could not protect the country when its economy got out of hand. “God forbid, if this happens in Pakistan the entire country will be put at risk, including the institutions. Keeping this in mind, all of us should think about where we are standing right now.

Imran Khan talks of ‘looming’ default

The Pakistan Army and the judiciary have a very important role in the country; it is their responsibility to play their part to save the country from economic default by ensuring political stability in the country,” he added.

He also questioned the business community: “I am surprised that they are not raising their voices on the economic crunch. It was the business community which was the worst affected due to the present economic crisis. The small and medium industries and the exporters were being crushed, and the overseas Pakistanis too were reluctant to send remittances to Pakistan, which had peaked during the PTI tenure. The overseas Pakistanis should be asked why they are not remitting money to Pakistan.”

The PTI Chairman said that during his administration as was noted in the recent Pakistan Economic Survey, tax collection, exports, agricultural production and remittances were at record levels. He accused the ruling coalition of the current economic mess, noting that for the past 30 years, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) only burdened the country with huge loans, taking it to record level, he said.

“Today, we were being crushed under the weight of loan repayments and other payments, including payments in dollars to the independent power producers (under the head of capacity charges),” he added.

He also observed that the rupee was also losing its value; the difference between its value in the open market and banking channel has risen to over Rs 10. Hence, people were resorting to using hundi, as they are getting a better rate from the open market, he added.

He added that they were making efforts to inform the people about the economic condition. “We will explain to individuals how the nation was struggling to deal with the current economic problems and how we could overcome it,” he added. He also lamented the media for not properly highlighting the current state of the economy.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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Pakistani1 Dec 13, 2022 11:22am
Adding fuel to fire for his own agenda is a sad reality that IK practices, forgetting that he is not harming his opponent political party but Pakistan.
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