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February 12, 2019

Table IMF deal in parliament, demands opposition

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February 12, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The opposition on Monday asked the government to bring details of a possible deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) before the parliament.

The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader and Opposition Leader in the Senate Sherry Rehman said the deal with the international financial body should not be kept secret and conditions behind the agreement should be revealed. “The deal means this time the budget will be from the IMF headquarters,” remarked the senior PPP leader.

The opposition leader in the Senate said that the government went to the IMF after taking 100 U-turns and the country’s economy was being put at peril through this agreement. “The people should brace themselves for a Tsunami of inflation,” said Sherry Rehman.

Sherry Rehman said the government should address the reservations regarding this agreement and ensure transparency. She said the recent mini-budget itself had become controversial as parliament had not voted on it.

“Questions are naturally being asked about this chaotic and patently undemocratic way of dysfunction. Is the voting being delayed to disguise facts not being disclosed? We are all Pakistanis and would have shared the burden, but the open disregard for parliament is now a key hallmark of this government’s modus operandi,” she said.

“There is no precedence in democratic governments for such authoritarianism coupled with ineptitude. Both are costing the Federation dearly,” she added.

Sherry Rehman said the countless U-turns have made it extremely difficult to wrap one’s head around what the government was trying to do with the economy. “We are hearing different answers to a rather straightforward question i.e. is the government going to accept a bailout package or not,” she questioned.

Sherry Rehman said instead of giving a concise and clear-cut answer, the government had decided to stick to its unrealistic economic vision without a feasible plan. “As a result, our macroeconomic situation continues to deteriorate. This government has borrowed an unprecedented amount of Rs3.77 trillion in a span of seven months. We are now borrowing just to pay interest on the loans taken,” she said.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said that her party did not want Prime Minister Imran Khan to commit suicide as this was a sin, but he should at least apologise to the nation for making U-turns.

“The incompetent government is putting the entire weight of its incompetence on the people,” Marriyum Aurangzeb said. The PML-N leader said her party had ended the programme with the IMF in 2015 to lift the burden of inflation and for economic stability in the country. She said Prime Minister Imran Khan did not have confidence in his team. “How can the nation have confidence in this team then?” she questioned.

She further said this ‘false government’ was betraying the nation and had already finalised the IMF deal. “Why is the false government hiding the terms of the agreement with the IMF?” she further questioned.

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