Vice President of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Fawad Chaudhry said in an interview Tuesday that if the PTI government is formed, he will have no choice but to turn to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). .
Chaudhry’s comment comes as a default risk looms over Pakistan, the rupee continues to depreciate against the US dollar and foreign exchange reserves have fallen to record lows – barely covering a month’s imports.
Financial experts, who have expressed concerns since the previous government was overthrown, say the country’s financial side will remain vulnerable until there is political stability.
The incumbent government has tried to get the IMF program back on track and is trying to complete the ninth review, but the IMF and Islamabad still have to make progress.
During an interview on private television, Chaudhry said that if the PTI government is formed, it must turn to the IMF for help in overcoming the economic crisis.
The statement came the same day that PTI chief Imran Khan while addressing the release of the PTI white paper via video link, said: “Instead of going to the IMF, watch out for exporters.”
Whilst advising the ruling central government on its decisions regarding the IMF, Khan had said that the approach to the lender raised the issue of autonomy.
“If you go to the IMF, you must follow his instructions. You can’t make your own decisions,” Khan said during his speech.
However, last week Khan attacked the coalition government’s economic policies, warning that the country would default unless it entered into a program with the IMF.
It is worth noting here that prior to taking office in 2018, Khan had been a scathing critic of accepting loans and assistance from the IMF and other countries.
vote of confidence
Chaudhry also said the Punjab Assembly session was convened on January 9 instead of January 11 so that they could go to court with a vote of confidence in Punjab Chief Minister Pervez Elahi.
The January 9 session will be entirely devoted to the vote of confidence in the Chief Minister as the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) has already withdrawn the motion of no confidence in the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Punjab Assembly over their inability to collect enough votes.
On the subject, Chaudhry said: “After the vote of confidence, the next step will be the dissolution of the assembly.”
The Lahore High Court (LHC) reinstated Elahi as chief minister on December 23, having appointed him the day before, after giving a written undertaking not to dissolve the assembly.
The court felt that this decision could exacerbate the ongoing political unrest in the province.
After Elahi’s enthronement, the court ruled that the next hearing in the denotification case would be held on January 11.