Pakistan Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Saturday blamed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan for “derailing his own IMF programme,” Geo News reported.
Sharif said that the PTI chief’s agenda includes spreading anarchy and chaos on the streets of the country, which will ultimately lead to “instability”. He said that Imran Khan does not want the poor people to get relief from inflation and economic pressures.
The former PTI-led administration signed a $6.5 billion loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund. However, the government went back on several promises that it made to secure the funding, as per the news report.
The Shahbaz Sharif-led government has repeatedly censured the party’s “deliberate” attempts for throwing the IMF programme off route through their manoeuvres, including PTI leader Shaukat Tarin allegedly instructing the former finance ministers of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Punjab not to follow up on the IMF deal last year in a leaked audio recording of their conversation, as per the Geo News report.
The PTI also dissolved Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab assemblies to pressure the government for early elections, which affected the crippled economy even further. With an uphill task on the economic front, the government is trying to convince IMF for releasing a more than $1 billion loan tranche to avoid a default.
The economy’s deterioration has resulted in Pakistani rupee’s devaluation and the foreign exchange reserves have reached $4 billion, which is just enough for around a month’s imports, as per the news report. Sharif berated Imran Khan for “running away” from the courts and said that he is not appearing before the judges as he is well aware that he is a “criminal”.
He called PTI chairman’s running away from courts as the “height of cowardice” and said: “First, he ran away from the IMF programme and now he is running away from the courts.” Notably, Imran Khan has been facing various court cases, ranging from prohibited funding, sedition, and terror charges.
Recently, the PTI chief, who remained in power for nearly four years, claimed that 76 cases have been registered against him. Shahbaz Sharif said Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif faced one of the “worst revenge” of the NAB-Niazi nexus during PTI’s tenure, according to news report.
Meanwhile, Imran Khan on Saturday announced that he will be leading PTI election rally in Lahore on Sunday at 2pm (local time) as he criticised the authorities for “killing” his party worker, Geo News reported.
“I will lead the election rally to show them that we are not domesticated animals,” Imran Khan told his followers during his address via video link.
It will be the first rally that Imran Khan will lead in over four months as he was mobilising the party from his Zaman Park residence, as per the news report. Khan had been at home as he was recovering from an injury he sustained last year.