ISLAMABAD: Economic experts, business leaders and politicians on Wednesday (31st of August, 2022) strongly came down on the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf for a “sinister” unsuccessful plot to sabotage loan programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that could have overturned country’s economy.
The comments came on the recent audio-leak of telephone calls of former Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin with the Finance Ministers of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab, for hatching conspiracy to fail the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) programme ahead of IMF board meeting.
The financial experts termed it a “sinister” move at a time when the country was already facing financial problems and the recent floods had played havoc with infrastructure, crops and economy of the country.
“Pakistan’s economy is currently going through a critical phase and such a move by PTI leaders is aimed at destabilizing the economy,” President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) Shakeel Munir told APP.
He said, the people were already living in miserable conditions when they were hit hard by the devastating floods that inflicted loss of around $10 billion by damaging houses, standing crops, orchards, livestock and other properties.
Shakeel Munir urged the politicians not to indulge in such dangerous moves for political interests as it posed a serious threat to country’s sovereignty. Instead the political leaders need to work jointly for economic improvement at a time when extensive damages were inflicted on country’s economy.
“Politicians should realize that the country’s financial conditions cannot withstand such things and work together to improve national economy,” he remarked.
Renowned economic expert and former finance minister, Dr. Hafeez Pasha also voiced his concern over the PTI move and told the Media that it should have not run such a campaign a day before the IMF board was to finalize the loan deal.
He said it was good that the campaign had not any impact on the IMF program and pointed that the current economic situation was serious; particularly after the floods hit the country.
Pasha, advocated adopting a common plan of action on economy with joint efforts by taking advantage of the current challenging situation.
“In these circumstances, when there is economic uncertainty, no party, including PTI, should run any such campaign, said Deputy Executive Director SDPI, Dr. Sajid Amin.
Meanwhile, Chairman Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Islamabad Chapter, Qurban Ali asked the PTI leaders to think beyond politics at this time when the country is under heavy flooding and stop running negative campaign.
Talking to APP, he also advocated the concept of ‘Charter of Economy’ to cope with the huge challenges the country was faced with currently to save people from the effects of the flood and ensure economic progress.
Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Miftah Ismail while commenting on the audio leaks termed it as “heinous and shameful” act against national interests and an attempt to push the country into economic default.
He said the telephone call leaks had unveiled the dirty politics of PTI and the faces behind the conspiracy. The PTI leaders, he alleged, were making “cheap efforts” for their vested political interests. They were least bothered about national interests and were hell bent to achieve their political motives at all costs.
Federal Minister for Planning and Development, Ahsan Iqbal also condemned Imran Khan and former finance minister Shaukat Tarin for the shameful act. He said that earlier it was India that used to oppose the IMF program whereas inside Pakistan it was PTI leadership that was hell-bent upon to sabotage the programme.
He said the IMF had finally approved the programme and had it not been approved Tuesday, the country would have been facing several challenges.
It is very shocking that a seasoned economist, who himself had remained finance minister, would hatch such a conspiracy to foil government efforts for taking the country out of economic crisis amid devastating floods.
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