Imran warns of default, slams PDM govt’s economic performance

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Imran Khan ECP cases

PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Sunday addressed a press conference in Lahore where he compared his government’s performance with that of the incumbent PDM setup, as he pilloried the rulers on their economic policies as well as the looming threat of a default. “The reason of my media talk today is to make the people aware of the direction that our country is heading in,” he said. “If we don’t raise our voice then Pakistan will experience something it has never before and we are going to default. All the funding from abroad will be stopped.

“A default would mean the country’s income in dollars has stopped, and then the rupee will devalue further. The cabal of crooks imposed on us don’t care about any of this. They have been stealing money for the last 30 years. They have stashed huge amounts of money abroad.”

Imran said that the ruling elite does not “care if the country defaults because their money is stashed abroad in the form of dollars”. “But the circumstance of a default is worrying for the common man,” he added.

“A default will be a very big loss for Pakistan. No investment will come back into Pakistan. No overseas Pakistani will be willing to invest in Pakistan.”

He recalled that dollar rate was Rs178 when he was ousted as the prime minister. “Today we cant even purchase dollar for Rs250.”

The PTI chief claimed that when he came into power in 2018, he had inherited a fragile economy but had turned it around, only to see his work undone by the present setup.

“When we got Pakistan [government] in 2018, we had the largest current account deficit,” he said. “When our government was ousted, the GDP growth was at six per cent. These figures are usually only seen during martial laws of Ayub, Zia and Musharraf. This was because [during their eras] we were receiving dollars from the US.

“They didn’t make any dams but we made six dams, out of which two were massive. We launched the health card that was praised by foreign magazines. Our Ehsaas programme was internationally acknowledged. The billion tree tsunami was praised around the world. UK prime minister Boris Johnson mentioned my name and our climate change programme at the UN.”

Media quiet on inflation, more focused on ‘my watch’

Imran accused the media of looking the other way on important matters and instead focusing on what he implied were trivial issues, such as his Toshakhana watch.

“The channels that used to bash the PTI government for inflation, those channels are quiet now and are instead focused on a watch,” he said. “It’s my watch. I can sell it, and I can do whatever I want. No one is talking about the economical murder being committed now.

“Today, the inflation is double and at a 50-year high. Where are those media houses now? No one cares about the inflation now. When we used to say the inflation is due to global reasons, no one believed us. When these cabal of crooks say the same thing, no one is questioning.”

The former prime minister said that the PDM government does not have a roadmap to drag the country out of the economic crisis. “The economic situation will keep worsening if this government stays in power because there will be no political stability. The economy only grows when there is certainty.”

Imran claimed that his victory in the next elections was so certain that the government was running away from polls. “They are only trying to delay elections as much as they can,” he said. Nawaz Sharif will do anything but he wont go for elections. They are scared that the cases will be revived when they lose power after the elections.“

In the question and answers session, Imran was asked if he had noticed any change in the military’s policy towards him and his party. To this, he replied: “I haven’t seen any change so far. The new army chief is here, and he should be given time. We have heard good things about him. We have a lot of expectations of him.”