PM fears bankruptcy sans bailout in two months

Says IMF loan never a priority, but there is no other option


Rehman Azhar/News Desk October 20, 2018
PM Imran Khan at Bani Gala. PHOTO: PID

ISLAMABAD: As the opposition’s outcry over the government’s decision to approach the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a financial bailout rises to a crescendo, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said Pakistan might have to file for bankruptcy if money does not come through in the next two months.

“An IMF loan was never a priority for us, but we have no other option but to approach the global lender,” PM Imran told a select group of television anchorpersons at his Bani Gala residence on Saturday.

The government would not require any more loans after the IMF bailout package, said the PM, who had been a staunch critic of IMF loans.

Seeking to defend his administration’s decision to approach the global lender, he said, “There is no harm in borrowing money from the IMF – the problem arises when we give in to their conditions. Time will prove that our step [to approach the IMF] was a temporary arrangement.”

PM Imran invites Qatari investment in Pakistan

When quizzed about the government outreach to friendly countries for financial assistance, the PM said, “We are engaged [in negotiations] with our friendly countries, China and Saudi Arabia in particular, and we hope for a positive development soon.”

Prime Minister Imran will leave for Saudi Arabia on Tuesday for a two-day business conference in Riyadh. At the conference ‘Future Investment Initiative’ to be held from October 23 to 25, Imran would try to project Pakistan’s economic and investment potential.

On Friday, the premier had a meeting with Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammad bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani, who also holds the portfolio of foreign minister, in Islamabad. Imran voiced hope that Doha would expedite implementation on its decision to employ 100,000 workers from Pakistan.

In his meeting with anchorpersons, the prime minister said the top bureaucracy and police were creating hurdles for his government at the administrative level.

“They [bureaucracy and police] are loyal to previous governments and are being run through a remote control against us,” he said. “Our government is still young while the people in bureaucracy and police have been there for long.”

The prime minister revealed that he was being pressured to make peace with the opposition. “They say that everything will be OK if I make peace with the opposition,” he said. “Opposition parties have connived since day one to put the PTI government under pressure.”

However, the premier reiterated that no one would escape accountability and that everyone would be held accountable for their financial wrongdoings. “Nobody would be offered any NRO,” he said, referring to the National Reconciliation Ordinance – a law introduced by former military dictator Pervez Musharraf allegedly to offer immunity to politicians against their financial wrongdoings.

Imran has not lost hope on Saudi aid

Referring to a recent fiery speech of Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif, who is facing corruption cases in accountability courts, the prime minister said, “Shehbaz Sharif was trying to become Nelson Mandela in the National Assembly.” He added that corruption cases against Shehbaz were not filed by the PTI government.

“NAB is an independent institution. The government has not intervened in the investigations of NAB,” he said, adding that all the cases against the Sharifs had been framed during the tenure of the previous government.

The PM said that he had come to power after a 22-year-long struggle and that he could tolerate criticism. He also admitted that his party could not properly convey the government policies to the people.

COMMENTS (5)

powayman | 3 years ago | Reply Nations don't get to file for bankruptcy - they just default on debt and live with the consequences.
Concerned | 3 years ago | Reply IMF talks drag on for months. There is no chance of getting money in 2 months.
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