Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday said that the fears of the country's default have "ended" after the "prudent policies of the government," Geo News reported citing a Radio Pakistan report.
Shehbaz Sharif's statement was contrary to over a dozen economists who believe that Pakistan faces the renewed risk of recession amid a deepening political and economic crisis and a delay in the revival of the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) bailout programme.
In the past few months, Pakistan has not been able to meet several deadlines to secure funds to stave off a default. Speaking to a delegation of Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors in Islamabad, Shehbaz Sharif said that his government is making all-out efforts to bring the economy out of the prevailing "quagmire" and put Pakistan on the path of development and prosperity, Geo News reported.
Shehbaz Sharif expressed confidence that the agreement with the IMF will be very soon, a claim that he and Pakistan Finance Minister Ishaq Dar have been making back and forth, with no results, as per the news report.
Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif said that the government is aware of the sufferings of the people due to the prevailing situation, which has sent inflation to a historic high. Pakistan needs funds to revive its USD 350 billion economy, ease widespread shortages and rebuild its foreign currency reserves.
The dollar stockpile of Pakistan has reached less than a month's import worth of imports, restricting its ability to fund overseas purchases, stranding thousands of containers of supplies at ports, forcing plant shutdowns and putting tens of thousands of jobs at risk, as per the news report. The political crisis in Pakistan has deepened after clashes erupted as the police attempted to arrest former Pakistan PM Imran Khan, who is demanding early polls since his ouster through a no-confidence motion in April last year.
On Saturday, Shehbaz Sharif said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan was out to create hurdles in the revival of the International Monetary Fund's programme which was reached during the previous PTI-led government, Pakistan Today reported. He said that the creation of chaos on roads is part of Imran Khan's agenda which aims at "fanning the fire of instability in the country."
"The creation of chaos on roads and anarchy is part and parcel of Imran Niazi's agenda, aimed at fanning the fire of instability in the country," Shehbaz Sharif said in a short statement shared by Pakistan PM Office media wing on Saturday.
"The timid person did not allow the courts to search him as he is guilty," he added.
Sharif said that the PTI chief did not want the poor people to come out of the issues, including inflation and economic pressure, as per the news report. He said that former Pakistan PM Imran Khan's evasion from courts shows the "height of cowardice." (ANI)