Political instability threatens Pakistan's faltering economy

Political instability threatens Pakistan’s faltering economy

Pakistan still needs help from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). And fears that Islamabad will fail this year, following the same path as Sri Lanka, seem increasingly founded. When the country obtained a preliminary agreement with the IMF for the payment of a tranche of approximately 1.2 billion dollars (approximately 1.2 billion euros), the political turmoil, and especially the unrest led of Prime Minister Imran Khan, could jeopardize this lifeline. The former cricket star was forced to step down after a no-confidence vote on April 9.

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A sign of urgency: General Qamar Javed Bajwa, the chief of Pakistan’s highly influential army that has ruled the country for more than half of the past seventy-five years, is directly involved. According to the economic daily Nikkei Asia and the American agency Associated Press, he should have met, at the end of July, with the number two of the American State Department, Wendy Sherman, to ask for Washington’s help to push the IMF to unblock the Debt in question as soon as possible. as much as possible.

The request is to say the least surprising given the growing relationship between the Pakistani military and the United States in recent years, especially on the question of neighboring Afghanistan, which fell into the hands of the Taliban on August 15 , 2021 The spokesperson of the Pakistani Foreign Ministry, for his part, confirmed on July 29 that General Bajwa was in contact with American officials, without specifying the subject of the interaction.

Coalition under pressure

This episode reinforces the view that “Civilian governments are seen as perpetual subordinates of the security establishment, unable to make independent decisions”, regretting Pakistani daily dawn in an editorial published on Monday 1er August. Especially because the heterogeneous coalition of the Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif, is under constant pressure from his opponent, the ousted former Prime Minister. Imran Khan’s opponents managed to form a coalition in April, mainly thanks to some representatives from his camp defecting.

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Since then, the 69-year-old former playboy has continued to rouse the masses demanding early elections. Imran Khan has managed to rally people across the country amid anti-American rhetoric. Mr Khan claimed that his downfall was the result of a US-backed plot. Proof of the resonance he has in the country, on July 17, his party won 15 of the 20 seats in the provincial elections in Punjab, the most populous region of the country, which is generally considered a political barometer.

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