Fear of default now over: PM

Shehbaz seminaries

Slams Imran for backing out on IMF conditions; Govt to act as per ECP’s decision on polls

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Wednesday that the threat of Pakistan defaulting on its debts was “now over” and that a staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund would happen “soon”.

Addressing a delegation of Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors in Islamabad, the premier said his government had successfully managed to save the country from default.
He said all the efforts were being made to pull out the country from an economic slump.

“It has been 11 months since the coalition government took over and economically, Pakistan has moved past the fear of default but the agreements that were made with the IMF will affect citizens for some time to come,” Shehbaz said.
He accused the previous government of knowingly abandoning the agreements it made with the IMF.

“The previous government realised in January 2022 that the opposition had a viable and constitutional plan to remove Imran, so they went on to violate the terms agreed upon with the IMF,” he said.

The premier insisted that he had inherited an economy in shambles and that it was a difficult task for him to push it into recovery, particularly because his government had to honour agreements made by the previous PTI government.

The prime minister also spoke on the face-off between law enforcement agencies and PTI supporters at Lahore’s Zaman Park, where a bid by Islamabad police to arrest PTI chief Imran Khan faced resistance from party supporters and workers.

The premier accused Imran of defying the courts, pointing out that leaders from the PML-N, including Rana Sanaullah and Nawaz Sharif, had appeared in courts without any objection.

He also said that no party could run away from elections and cleared the air regarding a perception that the PML-N was shying away from going into polls. “We will go for elections according to the guidelines set by the election commission,” PM Shehbaz said.

He said that the fears of Pakistan’s default have “ended” following the “prudent policies of the government.”

PM Shehbaz said the government was cognizant of the sufferings of common people due to the prevailing situation which has sent inflation to a historic high.

The prime minister also lauded the role of all coalition partners for running the government’s affairs effectively and said that the government is united and moving ahead to bring the country out of turmoil.