Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Friday took the federal government to task over the country’s worsening economic condition, saying he had warned ‘neutrals’ — a reference to the establishment — that the economy would go into a ‘tailspin’ if the “conspiracy” against his government succeeded.
The remarks by the former prime minister, who was ousted from power through a no-confidence motion by the joint opposition, came on the heels of the historic depreciation of the Pakistani rupee against the US dollar and the bloodbath at the stock market over the past few days. The rupee has touched Rs193 against the US greenback whereas the bears ruled the stock market amid economic uncertainty.
Imran tweeted that the government led by PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif has “failed to provide” policy and action being awaited by the market. He added that he had told the establishment that the ouster of his government would result in economic recovery going into a tailspin which has “now happened”.
Market awaiting policy & action, which Imported Govt has failed to provide. Both myself & Shaukat Tareen had warned the “Neutrals” that if conspiracy succeeded our fragile economic recovery would go into a tailspin. That is what has now happened. #امپورٹڈ__حکومت__نامنظور
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) May 13, 2022
The PTI leader said the interest rate was highest at 15 per cent since 1998 while the stock market lost 3,000 points and inflation rose to 13.4 per cent due to the “lowest ever confidence” in the government.
Imran had made similar claims during a gathering in Attock on Thursday.
He had said as soon as he learned about the “foreign conspiracy” against his government, he informed those who were supposed to foil it about its economic implications, but “unfortunately, we could not do anything [about it]”.
“I told those who could have stopped this conspiracy… told them that economy would suffer if the conspiracy succeeded and [then-finance minister] Shaukat Tarin also told them but unfortunately we could not do anything,” he had claimed.
It may be noted here that talks between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the revival of the bailout programme signed by the PTI government in 2019 will resume in Doha on May 18.
However, the prior conditions for the restoration of the bailout package, the IMF has asked to remove the subsidies, particularly the one on petroleum products announced by Imran in Feb 2022. The PML-N-led coalition government has failed to take any action in this regard, fearing the political fallout of the decision.