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ISLAMABAD: Senators belonging to coalition parties – Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) – Friday strongly condemned Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founding chairman Imran Khan’s letter to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and termed inviting a foreign financial agency in country’s internal affairs as enmity with Pakistan.

The issue was raised by PML-N’s Senator Sadia Abbasi, reading from “text” from a copy of Khan’s letter, she lamented that the PTI founding chairman tried to invite the foreign financial agency in Pakistan’s internal matter, saying that holding of election is purely Pakistan’s internal affair and inviting foreign institutions in the country’s internal affairs is deplorable.

She said PTI’s role in today’s Pakistan should have been as a strong opposition, adding the party should play a role of constructive opposition by giving proposals for the benefit of the country instead of inviting foreign institutions or foreign countries to intervene in Pakistan’s internal affairs.

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She pointed out that the IMF dealt with governments directly and not individuals, adding that inviting foreign countries and institutions would not serve the country’s interest and democracy.

She said the IMF was not an investigative agency and it had no role to impose its conditions on Pakistan.

Another PML-N Senator Irfan Siddiqui also tabled an adjournment motion before the House to discuss the issue of writing a letter to the IMF by the PTI founding chairman.

The text of the adjournment motion says the letter written by the PTI founder to the IMF is sent by the party spokesperson Rauf Hassan. It further stated: “The PTI has talked about challenging the legitimacy of the elected government after the election; therefore, this issue should be discussed in the House.”

Speaking on the floor of the House, Siddiqui said the PTI should have not invited a foreign financial agency to the country’s internal affairs.

PPP Senator Waqar Mehdi said the election is Pakistan’s internal matter and no other country invites any foreign country or agency in their election process. He strongly condemned Imran Khan’s letter to the IMF, saying it is “enmity” with the country.

He said PPP had also reservations with regard to the polls’ results but it had not approached any foreign country or any foreign agency for intervention, instead approached the relevant forums within the country.

Another PPP Senator Nisar Ahmad Khuhro also condemned the letter to the IMF, saying that no foreign agency or country should be invited to intervene in Pakistan’s internal affairs.

He added that Imran Khan had reportedly denied to have sent any letter to the IMF from jail. He said there should be an inquiry as to who has actually sent the letter, and as to whether the letter was sent through his lawyers who used to meet him in the jail.

PPP Senator Khuhro re-called that during Gen Zia era, the US wanted to give financial assistance to Gen Zia’s government and the then US administration approached the late Benazir Bhutto about her opinion. He said that Benazir Bhutto did not oppose the package in the larger national interest.

He said the people have given a split mandate and not a clear mandate to any single party. He asked the PTI to let the democratic process proceed with the coalition government.

While responding to the criticism of Khan’s letter to the IMF, PTI senator Mohammad Humayun said that the letter was in the context of the IMF delegation meeting with Imran Khan in June 2023.

“The IMF board of directors had stated that the bailout package will only be given [to Pakistan] if Imran Khan gives a guarantee. The IMF did not say that the PDM government should give a guarantee rather they sought Imran Khan’s guarantee,” the senator said.

He further stated the IMF again approached to meet Imran Khan but he was in jail and instead, the IMF delegation met with Barrister Gohar in November 2023. He maintained that the IMF tranche released in January this year was possible only after the PTI gave a guarantee.

“The IMF was saying that they will release the next tranche to the government which enjoys the public mandate. But what happened after the elections, you stole the public mandate and gave it to those who have no mandate,” the PTI senator maintained.

PTI Senator Zeeshan Khanzada referred to the letter written by more than 30 members of the US Congress to President Biden and Secretary of State Blinken not to recognise the newly elected government in Pakistan until a thorough probe into the allegations of rigging in the February 8 general elections.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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