PTI Chairman and former Prime Minister Imran Khan has said it is not the Chief of Army Staff’s job to deal with economic matters. Imran Khan made the statement while giving an exclusive interview to a private media channel.
While talking about the latest political developments in Pakistan, Imran Khan addressed the reports on COAS Gen Bajwa allegedly seeking US help in securing an early dispersal of a tranche of bailout package from the IMF.
“If these reports are correct that [Chief of Army Staff] General Bajwa is seeking America’s help in getting IMF [loan] it means that the country is getting weaker. This is not the job of an Army Chief,” the former premier said.
“I fear our national security will weaken in the face of US demands, and eventually Pakistan will suffer,” Imran Khan said while questioning whether the US will demand anything in return if it decides to help Pakistan.
اگر جنرل باجوہ امریکہ کو آئی ایم ایف سے مدد کے لیے کہہ رہے ہیں تو اسکا مطلب ہے کہ ملک کمزور ہورہا ہے کیونکہ یہ آرمی چیف کا تو کام نہیں کہ وہ فون کرے۔ اور کیا امریکہ مدد کے بدلے کوئی ڈیمانڈ نہیں کرے گا ؟ چیئرمین عمران خان #IKonARYNewsُ pic.twitter.com/lbjVGnwBUU
— PTI (@PTIofficial) July 29, 2022
Furthermore, Imran Khan said the report implied that no one including the international community and the people of the country has confidence in the coalition government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
COAS Bajwa seeks US help?
Earlier, a report by Nikkei Asia emerged claiming Pakistan’s COAS General Bajwa has allegedly pleaded with Washington to assist in securing an early disbursement of $1.2 billion in funds under an IMF loan program.
The Tokyo-based publication, while quoting anonymous sources from both Pakistan and the US, claimed that the army chief reached out to the US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman on a phone call earlier in the week and appealed to her to expedite the $1.2bn dispersal by the IMF.
The Foreign Office (FO) on Friday confirmed that there has been contact between Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman. However, the FO wasn’t aware if the two officials talked about the economy. A clarification from Inter-Services Public Relations is expected.