PTI to yet again ‘go for IMF deal if it forms next govt’

Business Desk

PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry addressing a press conference in Islamabad on March 24, 2022. — Online
PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry addressing a press conference in Islamabad on March 24, 2022. — Online
  • No choice but to turn to IMF, says Fawad Chaudhry.
  • Pakistan is currently witnessing an economic crisis.
  • He says will go to court after Elahi wins confidence vote.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Senior Vice-President Fawad Chaudhry said in an interview on Tuesday that if the PTI government is formed, it will have no recourse 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 forex reserves have plunged to record lows — covering merely a month's imports.

Financial pundits, voicing concerns since the ouster of the previous government, say the country's financial side will remain vulnerable until there is political stability.

The incumbent government has tried to get the IMF programme back on track and is trying to complete the ninth review, however, the Fund and Islamabad have not made any headway so far.

During an interview on a private television channel, Chaudhry said that if the PTI government is formed, it will have to go to the IMF for assistance to overcome the economic crisis.

This statement came on the same day that the PTI chief Imran Khan, while addressing the launch of PTI’s white paper via video link said: “Instead of going to the IMF, attention should be paid to exporters.”

Advising the ruling government in the centre about its decisions regarding the IMF, Khan had said that approaching the lender raises the issue of autonomy.

“When going to the IMF, one has to adhere to their orders. You cannot make your own decisions,” Khan had said during the address.

However, last week, lashing out at the coalition government’s economic policies, Khan had warned that the country will default if it does not enter into a programme with the IMF.

It is pertinent to note here that before coming to power in 2018, Khan had been a scathing critic of taking loans and assistance from the IMF and other countries. 

Vote of confidence

Chaudhry also said that the Punjab Assembly session has been called on January 9 instead of January 11 so that they can go to court with a vote of confidence in favour of Punjab Chief Minister Pervez Elahi.

The session on January 9, will be focused entirely on the vote of confidence against the chief minister since the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) has already withdrawn the no-confidence motion against the Punjab Assembly speaker and deputy speaker due to its inability to gather enough votes.

Speaking on the matter, Chaudhry said: "After taking the vote of confidence, the next stage will be the dissolution of the assembly.”

The Lahore High Court (LHC) reinstated Elahi as the chief minister on December 23, following his de-notification the day before, after it had taken a written undertaking from him that he would not dissolve the assembly.

The court was of the opinion that this move could deepen the ongoing political turmoil in the province.

Following Elahi’s instating, the court had decided that the next hearing of the case of de-notification would be on January 11.