PTI chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan have claimed that he and former finance minister Shaukat Tarin had warned the “neutrals” that if conspiracy against the PTI government succeeded, the “fragile economic recovery would go into a tailspin.”
Taking to Twitter, Imran lamented: “Rupee at all-time low Rs193/$ (from Rs178 on March 8); interest rates at 15 per cent highest since 1998, stock market down 3,000 points or 6.4pc; stock market lost Rs604 billion capitalisation; inflation 13.4pc highest since Jan 2020.”
Khan said the numbers reflected the “lowest-ever confidence in the imported government.”
Market awaiting policy & action, which Imported Govt has failed to provide. Both myself & Shaukat Tareen had warned the "Neutrals" that if conspiracy succeeded our fragile economic recovery would go into a tailspin. That is what has now happened. #امپورٹڈ__حکومت__نامنظور
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) May 13, 2022
He said, “Market awaiting policy and action which imported government has failed to provide. Both myself and Shaukat Tarin had warned the ‘neutrals’ that if [the] conspiracy succeeded, our fragile economic recovery would go into a tailspin.”
Marriyum Aurangzeb slams Imran Khan
In response, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb slammed Khan, holding the former prime minister responsible for the country’s economic collapse and the historic rise of the dollar against the rupee.
Read more: Daunting economic challenges of Pakistan
“If there is a historic rise in [price of] the dollar, then Imran Khan is responsible. The dollar has soared to Rs193 because of him.”
She went on to say that the people had been burdened with inflation due to the previous government’s agreements with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). “For the last four years, the incompetent, the cartels and the Imran mafia carried out economic terrorism,” the minister said.
Aurangzeb said that Imran had done irreparable damage when dealing with petrol to save his failing politics. “If tough decisions are being taken today, then Imran Khan is responsible,” she said, adding that the PTI chairman was now sitting on a high horse to hide his “anti-people economic crimes.”
معیشت کی تباہی، ڈالر کی تاریخی بلند ی کا مجرم عمران صاحب ہیں پاکستان کو گھمگیر مسائل کی دلدل میں عمران
خان نے دھنسایا ہے آج ڈالر میںتاریخی اضافہ ہورہا ہے تو عمران صاحب ذمہ دار ہیں ڈالر 193 پہ عمران خان کی وجہ سے گیا ہے
— Marriyum Aurangzeb (@Marriyum_A) May 13, 2022
Directly addressing Imran, the minister said that putting the country’s people and economy at stake was treason. She also said that he was making a ruckus about inflation when he was responsible for it, calling on him to answer for the economic destruction he had caused.
Read more: Pakistan likely to receive additional $2.5b loan from ADB
Challenges facing Pakistan’s economy
Imran’s remarks come as the Pakistan Stock Exchange, and the rupee have both come under pressure over the past few days as the new coalition government has failed to take decisive economic decisions.
Analysts and experts have linked the economic pressure to uncertainty over the continuation of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) loan programme coupled with a rising oil import bill and widening trade deficit.
According to Dawn, the most crucial factor behind the erosion of investor sentiment has been the failure of the new coalition government to come up with a credible plan to take politically tough decisions to fix the economy. It remains undecided about the reversal of the fiscally unsustainable energy subsidies, which is the ‘prior action’ that IMF wants it to take before it agrees to restart funding.