Khawaja Asif: Pakistan Already Bankrupt, Establishments, Bureaucracy and Politicians to Blame
Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khawaja Asif on Saturday said that the country has already gone bankrupt and blamed the establishment, bureaucracy and politicians for the current economic crisis. He was speaking at a ceremony in his hometown Sialkot when he said that the country has already defaulted and the solution to the nation’s problems lies within the country and not with the IMF — whose crucial $1.1 billion loan Pakistan is desperately trying to secure.
Asif said that everyone including the establishment, bureaucracy and politicians are to blame for the current economic mess as the law and Constitution are not followed in Pakistan. He said that he has been in the Parliament for 33 years and has witnessed politics being disgraced for 32 of those years. He also revealed that golf clubs had been built on government land and that selling two of them would reduce one-fourth of Pakistan’s debt.
Asif's comments come at a pivotal moment, as the nation is facing unprecedented levels of inflation, depleting foreign currency reserves, and multiple debt payments. Pakistan's foreign currency reserves, totaling $3.19 billion, are inadequate to cover the cost of imports, leaving thousands of containers of supplies stranded at its ports and disrupting industrial production, thus threatening employment opportunities.
In 2019, Pakistan received a USD 6 billion bailout from the IMF. In 2022, an additional USD 1.1 billion was added to assist the nation in dealing with the unprecedented flooding. In November, the IMF halted payments to Pakistan because of the nation's lack of advancement in fiscal consolidation during a period of political unrest.
Asif expressed his condolences for the loss of personnel in the fight against terrorism, saying that security agencies are working tirelessly to combat the issue. Two years ago, it was claimed that terrorists were allowed to settle in the country.
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