Pakistan’s top economic minds have placed their bets on former prime minister Imran Khan to steer the country out of the economic crisis after undertaking reforms, according to a Bloomberg survey.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder, who is disqualified to hold public office due to his convictions, is the most favoured leader for Pakistani finance professionals to oversee the economy’s recovery, as per the survey.
The ex-premier was ranked highest among 12 traders, economists and analysts from some of the nation’s biggest brokerages who cited his enduring popularity as a key reason to take measures required to stabilise the economy in the long term.
PML-N supremo and three-time former premier Nawaz Sharif came second, with respondents mentioning his experience in government.
Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, a scion of the influential Bhutto family and former foreign minister, was a distant third, with some of those Bloomberg surveyed citing a distrust of dynastic politics.
Political observers say there’s growing disillusionment with the country’s electoral system as the PTI founder has been disqualified to run in the elections.
Earlier today, the PTI founder along with his spouse Bushra Bibi sentenced to 14 years in jail in Toshakhana reference only a day after a special court handed him a 10-year jail term in cipher case.
At the same time, Nawaz-led PML-N has been gaining support from voters since he ended four years of self-imposed exile in London, according to a Gallup survey.
An analysis by Bloomberg Economics of Pakistan’s misery index — a combination of inflation and unemployment rates — showed Nawaz’s party performed better in managing the economy over the past three decades compared with rivals, including Khan.
The elections are intended to bring an end to the political volatility weighing on Pakistan since Khan’s ouster in April 2022.
Whoever wins the polls will oversee an economy that’s grappling with low reserves and stubbornly high inflation.
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