BY ALI NAQVI –
Pakistan’s economy is running like a headless chicken. Bailout package from The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is the only straw that the government is trying to catch at. Imran Khan deserves the credit for creating a new Pakistan. Things that took years to happen are shaping up in a matter of months. With this scale of ‘change’ Pakistan will soon become unrecognizable.
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s decision to extend the amnesty scheme deadline was checked by IMF telling the government that doing so could affect their cause ahead of the body’s board meeting that would deliberate on $6 billion bailout package for Pakistan. If approved, it would be the 13th bailout package that the country will ‘benefit’ from.
Amnesty Scheme is a bad idea to begin with. The government should not show any flexibility for tax evaders. But the alarming thing is that the IMF is acting as an economic decision maker for Pakistan. The bailout package is not just a financial relief for the country, it’s going to dictate the country into making choices that would crush the middle and lower middle classes.
In August 2018 when the PTI government was sworn in, Rupee exchange rate vs US Dollar was fluctuating around Rs. 120. Today it has crossed 160-mark with no signs of stabilizing. There is no Ishaq Dar now. No ‘Chor Dako’ is at the helm of affairs. Most “corrupt” politicians in the history of the world, Mian Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari, are behind bars.
The biggest province of the country is in the safe hands of talented, visionary and committed Usman Buzdar. Print and electronic media are free. Judiciary is independent. NAB is impartial and unbiased. Military is apolitical. What else do we need to get things right?
A country cannot keep its dignity and self-esteem intact if it carries a bagging bowl around the world looking for a bailout package. Such were words that we used to hear from the top leadership of PTI. They used to tell us how a common man suffers from over taxation; why tax payer’s money is not spent on health and education. They had all the facts and figures. They told us that the daily corruption worth billions of rupees could stop if PTI came to power. We were told that petroleum prices are raised artificially the corrupt governments.
Inviting the IMF to devise our economic policy will affect our entire social fabric. Rising inflation will force people to get money by hook or crook. Corruption will increase and crimes will be rampant.
Are we playing in the hands of Israeli-American agenda? By ditching our Chinese and Russian friends we could be a casualty of war between the powers of the emerging bipolar world. A destabilized Pakistan will not be in the interest of China or Russia, but it will certainly please the US. IMF bailout package will have far reaching consequences economically, socially as well as politically. If we cannot bail ourselves out of ignorance, incompetency, inertia, inefficiency, dogma, repression and oppression then nothing will.