Pakistan

‘Powerful’ quarters could have stopped ‘conspiracy’: Imran


Former premier Imran Khan on Thursday conceded that he had asked the ‘powerful quarters’ to stop the “foreign conspiracy” – change of the government through a vote of no-confidence – against the then PTI-led government as it would lead to political instability, which would have a direct impact on the country.

“I had clearly told the ‘powerful’ people of the country that the economy was hardly being managed and if there was no political stability in the country and if you allowed political destabilisation, then it will have a direct impact on the economy,” the PTI chairman added.

“Those having ‘power’ could have stopped the conspiracy from taking place,” the ousted prime minister said, adding that he not only told them back then but also asked ex-finance minister Shaukat Tarin to tell them that economic crisis would deepen if political stability vanished.

The PTI chairman maintained that if the country was to be taken out of its economic quagmire and the spiralling inflation, the announcement of immediate elections was inevitable. “Delaying elections on any pretext is hurting Pakistan,” he added.

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In his media speech, the PTI chief drew a comparison of his government with the incumbent one and reiterated that there would be no economic stability without a political one.

He again claimed political stability would only come through fresh elections. “The government doesn’t have any option to save economy,” he maintained, saying that until political stability came, no one could save the economy.

The PTI chairman maintained that the country would not be able to overcome its crises if the rulers’ focus would be on ending corruption cases against themselves.

“Fascist tactics won’t work for long and the PTI’s call for protest is not far if the country continues its downward spiral,” he added.

“The delay in the elections is causing loss not only to me [PTI] but to the country,” the ex-PM said.

He further claimed that the PTI was the most popular party in Pakistan and all the “criminals” ruling the country had realised that they could not compete with it.

He said the PTI’s popularity graph was going up with each passing day because of the government’s poor performance.

Imran lashed out at the government over its economic performance.

Claiming that the government had no credibility, the PTI chairman said the economy should have stabilised after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) deal but that did not happen.

He added that the people had put up with record inflation yet no relief came their way.

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In addition, Imran said the rupee was still not gaining strength against the US dollar, maintaining that the government had no solution to fix the economy.

He drew a comparison of what the PTI and PML-N-led governments had inherited when they came to power.

Imran said the current account deficit was $20 billion when the PTI came to power.

He added that the PML-N-led government had received $16 billion when they came to power after the vote of no-confidence.

The ex-premier said they had left $16.2 billion reserves, saying they had now fallen to $8.8 billion.

Remittances reached $31 billion from $19 billion during the PTI tenure, he added.

He noted that the world had acknowledged the PTI government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. “Had they [current rulers] been in power during the Covid-19 [outbreak], they would have simply gone for a lockdown,” he claimed.

Imran said the claim that the government received the country in an economic condition was false, saying it did not have a roadmap for tackling the flood crisis.

“The only roadmap of the incumbent government is to ask for aid from the world,” he said, quipping that many had thought that PM Shehbaz was the savior after Einstein.

He also mentioned that a dollar was equal to Rs178 before the vote of no-confidence and today it was equal to Rs236.

Electricity per unit was Rs16, he said, which had now reached to Rs36 per unit. Beside, he added that oil prices had reduced in the international markets yet the government increased the rates of petroleum products.

The only slip of tongue in the speech was when Imran drew a comparison of flour prices during PTI and incumbent government’s tenures. Claiming that the flour cost had doubled double, Imran said that the price of the commodity had gone over Rs100 per kg.

“Flour is being sold at over Rs100 per kg in Karachi,” he added.

After comparing the pulses’ rates that had increased manifolds by now, Imran said that inflation was 18% during the PTI rule. He added that now it had reached 45%.

The ex-premier said the PTI government used to tell people that prices were high in the international markets but opponents would simply resort to criticism and take out rallies against inflation.

He claimed that the growth rate was going down and industries were being shut down.

He gave examples of car and textile industries, among others, saying they were functioning at 50 and 20%, respectively. He added that cement sales had also gone down by 35%.

The PTI chief predicted that the economy would further go down because there was no political stability and Pakistan needed $30b financing this year.

Roughly $8 billion would come from the IMF and other global money lenders, he said, and Pakistan needed $22 billion from the world at a time when the international bodies had given the country negative ratings.

During the PTI's time, he said, the risk rating was 5% and after the no-confidence motion was filed, it went to 9%.

Today, he said, Pakistan’s risk rating had hit 22.7%, which means that it will be difficult for Pakistan to acquire loans.

“Go for fresh elections to save Pakistan from further going down,” he urged.

He demanded that free and fair polls should be announced as the crises would further increase with every passing day.

https://www.facebook.com/PTIOfficial/videos/499283502010500/

 


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