Mired in an unprecedented economic crisis wherein the price of a litre of milk has surged to Pakistani Rs 250 and chicken, a staple diet of Islamabad, has shot up to Rs 780 per kg, the defence minister declared the country is now “bankrupt”.
Addressing a convocation event in Sialkot, the minister and PML-N leader Khwaja Asif said that people must have heard that Pakistan has defaulted and there exists an (economic) meltdown, which stands correct.
The minister’s statement came as the country has been witnessing record-high inflation, even for bread and water. Asif said that Pakistan has not been defaulting, but has “already defaulted”.
“We are residents of a bankrupt country. People have been saying that Pakistan has defaulted and there exists an (economic) meltdown, but all that has already happened and we need to stand on our feet,” Asif said.
At the event organised at a private college, Khwaja Asif even slammed the preceding PTI-led Imran Khan government for spewing terrorism in the country and allowing the menace to return to Pakistan. Reports suggest that he even said that Imran Khan had devised such a game that now, terrorism was Pakistan’s destiny.
Speaking about the ongoing crisis in the country, he declared the country was bankrupt and that the solution to the problem was present in Pakistan. “But we are looking towards the IMF for help,” he said.
A video of Khwaja Asif confessing about Pakistan’s bankruptcy has gone viral and members of the Opposition, including PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf), were quick to condemn the incumbent PML-N’s regime. They said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had brought Pakistan to a “sorry state” in merely 10 months.
Pakistan secured a USD 6 billion IMF bailout in 2019. It was topped up with another USD 1.1 billion in 2022 to help the country following the unprecedented floods. But the IMF suspended disbursements in November due to Pakistan’s failure to make more progress on fiscal consolidation amid political turmoil in the country.
Pakistan’s existing foreign exchange reserves are said to be on the cusp of absolute depletion with less than three weeks’ worth of import cover.
Source : India Today