Expectedly, the prime minister Shehbaz Sharif and his economic czar Ishaq Dar have squashed the talk or speculation of a looming sovereign default with vehemence.
According to them, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government “laid landmines” for the present government in the last days of its tenure. They have also claimed that soon after coming to power the present government has taken much-needed measures to insulate Pakistan against default.
It is quite unfortunate that PTI chairman Imran Khan has added grim sovereign default warning to his narrative with a view to stepping up pressure on a beleaguered coalition government of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).
Little does he, however, know that many are unwilling to believe he would stoop so low as to raise alarm about the looming purported sovereign default, although the country is in a position to make all external debt repayments. His growing anti-government belligerence, which is strongly characterised by extreme malice and bitterness, is adding to confusion, hopelessness and anxiety among businesses.
He has every right to criticise the policies of the incumbent government. But he must, in my view, mellow out insofar as his criticism of the government is concerned by giving a pause to his sovereign default rhetoric in the larger interest of the country and its economy, which, indeed, is in deep trouble.
Nazish Khan (Islamabad)
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022