Fri, 19 Aug 2022

Islamabad [Pakistan], August 4 (ANI): Referring to the current economic crisis in the country, former Pakistan Prime Minister and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Wednesday said that the present coalition government should focus on bringing stability back to the country instead of thinking about the appointment of a new Army Chief.

Speaking to the media, Imran asked if the country could be held back for the appointment of the new army chief, sugesting that the focus should be on bringing stability back to Pakistan instead of thinking what will happen in November, the Dawn reported.

Imran said that while the army played an important part in the country's national security, economic stability was equally important.

"We have to choose,.. do we want stability or a new army chief?" he said in response to a question.

"Right now, the more important issue than the army chief's appointment is stability and only one thing can bring that -- elections," Imran said, highlighting that the aim should be to prevent Pakistan from falling into a place where "things go out of hand".

Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, who was given an extension by the previous PTI government in 2019, will leave his position on November 29 when his second three-year tenure comes to an end, the Dawn reported.

The next army chief's appointment is at times mentioned as one of the major subplots in the ongoing political crisis engulfing the country.

Imran highlighted that the markets were tumbling, industries were closing down and the economy was in a freefall. "Now is the time to decide. But this fear in Zardari and Shehbaz of losing the elections is sabotaging the entire country," the PTI chairman said.

Imran pointed out the economic crisis in the country and said that "free and transparent" elections were the only way out of the crises that have grappled the country right now.

He highlighted that rupee was falling and the markets were suffering because they had "lost confidence" in the government. "Imagine that a country's army chief has to call America and request them for funds."Imran said that he was even ready to talk to the government if they "dissolve the assemblies today and announce the new date for elections", the Dawn reported.

He said that it, however, didn't seem like the coalition government wanted to opt for that because he claimed they were "afraid of losing".

"They are not thinking about the country, they just want to save their loot [...] this is their issue, not Pakistan," he said. "They have money abroad, they don't care if the rupee falls. This will just increase their wealth."Bajwa has been serving as Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan Army since November 2016.

Amid the worsening crisis due to shrinking foreign reserves, General Bajwa recently approached the US for help in securing an early disbursement of funds from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to prevent the south Asian country from a looming economic disaster.

As per the reports, Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif persuaded Bajwa to talk to US Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and use his influence for the early disbursement of USD 1.2 billion in IMF funds.

Bajwa's phone call to US authorities kicked up a storm and shows that Pakistan's economy is in tatters.

It also goes to show that the situation has deteriorated to such an extent that even the country's army chief feels compelled to reach out to the people who matter to avert the danger of a default-like situation, reported Business Recorder.

Meanwhile, the country's political elite are spewing venom at each other; muddying the waters even more while its economy is collapsing and there is a desperate need to save Pakistan from default or else it will go Sri Lanka's way.

Even a number of very friendly, and usually very reliable countries have now disassociated from any further lending to Pakistan with the resumption of the EFF (Extended Fund Facility). (ANI)

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