LAHORE—Imran Khan, the chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), has made a fervent appeal to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), urging its support for expediting the process of holding elections in Pakistan. The objective behind this request is to ensure that the PTI government can act as a guarantor for the recently secured $3 billion tranche, The Thursday Times has learnt. The IMF has been engaging in deliberations with leaders of major political parties in Pakistan over the past few days, including the ruling coalition of the PML(N) and the PPP, as well as the opposition, which encompasses the PTI.
This crucial meeting follows several months of Imran Khan, the PTI chairman, adamantly downplaying the necessity of seeking an IMF bailout to resuscitate the country’s faltering economy. He had repeatedly voiced his stance that resorting to the IMF for a financial tranche was akin to presenting a “begging bowl” on the global stage, thereby undermining Pakistan’s dignity and sovereignty.
However, tides seem to have shifted as Imran Khan now finds himself seeking the IMF’s support to consolidate his government’s position and fulfill the financial commitments associated with the recently secured $3 billion tranche. This apparent change of heart has raised eyebrows and sparked speculation among political circles about motives behind the PTI chairman’s request.
During the party chairman’s meeting with IMF representatives Esther Perez Ruiz and Nathan Porter, Imran Khan was accompanied by notable figures such as former finance minister Shaukat Tarin and former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial finance minister Taimur Jhagra. An audio leak from August of the previous year revealed telephonic conversations between Tarin and Jhagra, wherein they strategised ways to potentially undermine or derail the bailout package altogether.
Amidst these circumstances according to sources privileged to The Thursday Times, Imran Khan emphasised that his party, the PTI, held the key to guaranteeing the responsible and effective utilisation of the $3 billion provided by the IMF. He asserted that the PTI was not only the solution to Pakistan’s economic stability but also the sole guarantor of constitutional governance in the Republic.