PTI urges IMF to mull country’s political stability in future talks

PTI urges IMF to mull country’s political stability in future talks

PTI urges IMF to mull country’s political stability in future talks

PTI urges IMF to mull country’s political stability in future talks

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ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), led by the incarcerated former prime minister Imran Khan, has reportedly urged the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to take into account the country’s political stability in any future bailout negotiations, two individuals familiar with the situation said on Wednesday.

Sources within the PTI have disclosed that the party has formally communicated its stance to the IMF through a letter, with further elaboration expected to be revealed in the near future.

The IMF has acknowledged the possibility of such a letter but has not yet received it.

Recently, Imran Khan, the founder of PTI, expressed intentions to correspond with the IMF, urging for an investigation into the legitimacy of the February 8 election before further discussions proceed with Islamabad.

The letter addressed to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), at the behest of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Imran Khan, surfaced on Wednesday.

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The missive, directed to the Managing Director of the IMF, Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, from the Imran Khan-led PTI, underscored that a government lacking “legitimate representation” forced upon a nation holds no moral ground to govern, particularly regarding tax policies.

Referring back to a prior meeting between Imran Khan and IMF delegates in 2023, PTI recalled their agreement to support IMF’s financial assistance to Pakistan on the condition of ensuring a fair electoral process in the country.

Against this backdrop, PTI highlighted concerns over the general elections held on February 8, 2024, citing alleged widespread interference and vote count manipulation, despite significant public expenditure incurred.

The letter emphasized that such interference had prompted key IMF member nations, including the US, UK, and EU states, to demand a thorough and transparent investigation into the matter.

Asserting alignment with IMF’s principles, PTI urged against the abuse of power by a minority of public officials for personal gains, which contradicts the IMF’s ethos.

PTI noted that besides itself, various other political factions in Pakistan had called for an impartial inquiry into claims of electoral malpractice post the February 8 elections.

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Expressing disappointment over the lack of response to these calls for over two weeks, the letter highlighted a perceived absence of accountability or adherence to the rule of law regarding the subversion of Pakistanis’ right to elect their government.

Imran Khan urged the IMF to adhere to its governance guidelines and preconditions for financial aid, which shouldn’t burden Pakistan with additional debt.

The letter proposed ensuring an audit of at least thirty percent of seats in national and provincial assemblies, feasible within two weeks, without expecting the IMF to conduct investigations. Instead, it suggested relying on indigenous organizations like the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) and PATTAN-Coalition 38 for audit methodologies, adaptable to meet stakeholders’ satisfaction.

According to Barrister Ali Zafar, legal counsel for the incarcerated Imran Khan, the letter aims to invoke the principles outlined in the charters of organizations like the IMF and EU, emphasizing the necessity of good governance for international financial assistance.

The IMF has refrained from commenting on Pakistan’s political landscape following assertions from Imran Khan’s associates that they would push for an impartial audit of the disputed February 8 elections before resuming talks with Pakistan.

Financial analyst Sohail Ahmed from Topline Securities in Karachi downplayed the potential impact of the letter on the market, suggesting that the IMF would conduct its own thorough evaluations.

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Pakistan’s economy, grappling with severe financial challenges, received a $3 billion standby arrangement from the IMF last year. However, issues such as soaring inflation, currency devaluation, and dwindling reserves continue to plague the nation.

Meanwhile, China has extended a $2 billion loan to Pakistan, which was originally due in March but has now been renewed for another year, according to sources from the Ministry of Finance.

With the standby arrangement set to expire in April, analysts anticipate that a new government, likely formed by PTI’s opponents, will seek additional assistance from the IMF.

Imran Khan, ousted in April 2022 through a parliamentary vote of confidence, has been accused by opposition parties of sabotaging an earlier IMF deal worth $6 billion before leaving office, an allegation he denies.

An IMF spokesperson recently stated the organization’s focus on completing the standby program while expressing readiness to assist the post-election government with a new arrangement if requested to address Pakistan’s ongoing economic challenges.

 

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