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PTI’s gambit to drag IMF into electoral turmoil risks backfire

PTI's gambit to drag IMF into electoral turmoil risks backfire
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February 29, 2024 (MLN):  At a time when the country is struggling with the aftermath of a fiercely contested election and the absence of a formed government even after a month, the PTI's attempt to involve the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in country's internal electoral matters is an obvious display of political opportunism, reeking of desperation.

Dragging internal matters onto the international stage by calling the last resort to audit General Elections 2024, knowing that Pakistan has just recovered from the brink of default and how important is the upcoming tranche for the economy and such attempts could be backfired to the whole country.

The PTI's assertion, “It must be clarified at the very outset that the PTI does not wish to stand in the way of any IMF facility to the state of Pakistan that promotes the country's immediate as well as the long-term economic well-being” is laughable at best.

If the official results had favoured the PTI, would they have opted to write such a letter? The answer is a resounding NO.

The statement “We do not call for the IMF to adopt the role of an investigative agency,” is a weak attempt to justify involving an international financial institution in domestic electoral matters.

There are at least two indigenous organizations in Pakistan mentioned in the same letter, 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 is important to mention that negotiations with the IMF are underway for a $6-billion tranche, which is imperative for the survival of the country. At the same time, other multilateral agreements and friendly assistance also depend on it.

This attempt was also disliked by the caretaker government which is making sure not to deviate from the IMF’s policies for the economic wellbeing of the country.

Right after the surfacing of this letter, the Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar uttered displeasure, terming this move as 'Highly Irresponsible'.

The Prime Minister also stated that the letter was sent at a time when the caretaker government had worked hard for the economic revival and as a result, achieved almost all the financial targets.

In the view of Anwaarul Haq Kakar, this attempt would have no effect but it would have political cost for the PTI.

All in all, it was a short-sighted and reckless move that undermined Pakistan's ability to govern itself and jeopardised vital economic support that Pakistan desperately needs.

This move could risk further destabilizing an already fragile political landscape.

Last week, the fund expressed its eagerness to collaborate with the new government on policies to ensure macroeconomic stability. 

During a press briefing, Ms. Julie Kozack, Director of Communication, stated, “We look forward to collaborating with the new government on policies to ensure macroeconomic stability and prosperity for all of Pakistan's citizens.”

She also refrained from commenting on former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s intention to request an investigation into election irregularities and an audit of the election.

To recall, on April 10, 2022, the former Prime Minister and Chairman of PTI was ousted from power after losing a no-confidence vote in his leadership.

Copyright Mettis Link News


Posted on: 2024-02-29T11:53:18+05:00