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PTI presses IMF for probe into Pakistan’s General Elections 2024

PTI presses IMF for probe into Pakistan's General Elections 2024
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February 28, 2024 (MLN): Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) finally called the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for an audit of at least 30% of the national and provincial assemblies' seats, urging that such an endeavour could be completed within a mere two weeks.

In a letter written to Ms Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the Fund, the Spokesperson of PTI said, "In view of the policies and principles the IMF stands for, there should be no doubt that the abuse of power by a small number of holders of public office to impose their likes and dislikes on Pakistan’s populace as aforesaid, and thus to ensure their continuing personal gain, would not be promoted or upheld by the IMF."

It is not just the PTI, but several other political parties in Pakistan, along with several Western governments, Commonwealth observers, local civil society organizations, and international print and electronic media, have called for an independent probe into claims of intervention and electoral fraud in the country on and after February 8, 2024, it added.

These calls have, however, gone unheeded for more than two weeks now suggesting that there is no fear of accountability or rule of law concerning the subversion of the exercise by the people of Pakistan of their right to elect a government.

"We, therefore, call upon the IMF to give effect to the guidelines adopted by it concerning good governance as well as conditionalities that must be satisfied before the grant of a finance facility that is to burden the people of Pakistan with further debt," the letter reads. 

There are at least two indigenous organizations in Pakistan namely the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) and PATTAN-Coalition38 that have proposed comprehensive methodologies to conduct an audit of the General Elections 2024 which, with some modifications, could be implemented locally to the satisfaction of all stakeholders, it said. 

The letter also highlighted that in the last interaction held between Mr Imran Khan and IMF representatives in 2023, PTI had agreed to support IMF’s financing facility involving Pakistan on the condition and reassurance of a free and fair election in the country.

In the foregoing backdrop, it is noteworthy that the general elections conducted in Pakistan on February 8, 2024, on which public expenditure of about Rs50 billion (or US$ 180 million) was incurred, were subjected to widespread intervention and fraud in the counting of votes and compilation of results.

This intervention and fraud have been so brazen that the IMF’s most important member countries including the U.S., Great Britain, and countries forming part of the European Union have called for a full and transparent investigation into the matter, it said.

It further noted that a mission of the European Union examined the general elections of February 8, 2024. The report of the said mission must be examined by the IMF and made available to the people of Pakistan.

In addition, the letter also clarified that PTI does not wish to stand in the way of any IMF facility to the state of Pakistan that promotes the immediate as well as the long-term economic well-being of the country.

It is clear that such a facility, along with the national commitment to bring about necessary reforms that facilitate repayment and enable the country to stand on its own feet, can only be negotiated in the best interests of the people of Pakistan by a duly elected government that has the trust of the people of Pakistan.

PTI is well aware of the importance the IMF attaches to good governance, transparency, upholding the rule of law, and curbing corrupt practices while entering into financing arrangements with member countries, the letter further noted.

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Posted on: 2024-02-28T21:29:11+05:00