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Pakistan has become reliable, not bankrupt!

by naeem masood
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Naeem masood

Dreams should be pursued, but not dreams that harbour negative thoughts and later turn into nightmares. Positive dreams are better for politics, the state, and aspirations. These are the dreams that the sages say should keep you awake at night, working tirelessly to achieve their realization. Unfortunately, our leaders fail to see such dreams. They only show dreams to the people, trapping themselves in a cycle of insomnia while invoking the name of Allah.

There is no doubt that the current government has been under the grip of the IMF for the past year, struggling daily to breathe life into the economy. While the former prime minister had grand dreams that Pakistan would become another Sri Lanka during the PDM era, Khan wanted the state of the country to be anything but associated with the bankruptcy of Pakistan. However, this Eid brought a glimmer of hope when the IMF’s announcement suggested that if Eid arrived, it would bring positive change. The white cloth, which symbolizes sacrifice, faces a test, as families eagerly anticipate a joyous Eid. Let’s set aside the unfulfilled dreams of the public for now and focus on private dreams. Consider this: In August 2022, an audio clip surfaced in which former Finance Minister Shaukat Tareen, addressing the then Punjab Finance Minister, mentioned not taking responsibility for the IMF loan instalment under the PDM government. Mohsin Leghari, the current MNA who won the by-election seat after the death of Jojafar Leghari, rightfully questioned whether this would harm the state.

In response, Shaukat Tareen mentioned the cases being made against their chairman. Was he justified? To summarize, Mohsin Leghari did not write a letter to the IMF because he was a man of understanding and a patriot, unlike Shaukat Tareen. On the other hand, Timur Jhagra from KPK did write a letter to the IMF, essentially advocating for Pakistan to go bankrupt. Rakhim has already stated that this betrayal by Shaukat Tareen is unforgivable. This state didn’t give him anything, yet he was willing to stab it in the back. Zardari Sahib even appointed Shaukat Tareen as a senator, previously serving as a minister from 2008 to 2010. How could a technocrat turn against his own state to such an extent? He played a pivotal role in the development of banks and large companies. What was Shaukat Tareen thinking during his time as Chirag-e-Sehar (the light of dawn)? This event was far more significant than the tragic events of May 9.

As soon as the dream-shattering incident occurred and the former prime minister and his associates realized that Pakistan was not going to become another Sri Lanka, the IMF’s assistance was labeled as mere “aspirin for cancer.” Let’s not forget that in the final stage, the head of government or the head of finance provides the IMF with the assurance that if there is a shortfall, they will guarantee it. Imran Khan, as the head of the government, also provided this assurance to the IMF amid much noise and fanfare, creating the illusion of a great battle. However, in order to maintain a favorable public image, the guarantor and the head of the government undermined the agreement by fixing prices in contradiction to the agreement. This upset the IMF, leading to a reversal of all plans. During this period, the IMF stated that they would not proceed until their team investigates Pakistan and is satisfied. Thus, Pakistan’s reputation was at stake.

It is certain, and the international community cannot forget, that the world is a global village. For instance, in the war between Russia and Ukraine, the entire world suffers due to increased inflation and oil prices. If a COVID-19 vaccine is developed, the project remains incomplete until it reaches every corner of the world. Whether it is aid from friendly countries, flood relief, or international assistance in various sectors, loans or aid from the World Bank or the Asian Development Bank, the IMF stands as the axis and center of the financial world, around which the global economy revolves. Therefore, the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) was severely affected from August 2022 onwards. However, the new government will reconsider and implement reforms, ensuring the availability of energy, dealing a decisive blow to the dollar mafia, filling the national treasury, stabilizing the value of the dollar, strengthening export and import, and unlocking the Geneva aid meant for flood relief. The hard work put in by the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto, and the Finance Minister will yield positive results. What is wrong with that? The loans approved by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, which were pending release, will surely be disbursed now! The stand-by arrangements (SBA) between Pakistan’s authorities and the IMF staff will be a significant positive development in the financial and macroeconomic framework, finally putting an end to the period of uncertainty. The credit for making the unreliable credible goes to this government. They managed to neutralize those who were willing to harm the state for personal gains, thereby restoring political and economic stability.

Politics is synonymous with service, and democracy guarantees human rights. Both require that the nation be informed through an economic charter. Currently, the responsibility lies with the political, economic, and social leadership and the civil servants to present this charter. Otherwise, everything remains a work of fiction. In this regard, Mr. Zardari aims to present and promote an economic charter that will bring long-term stability and benefits to Pakistan!

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