PML-N, PTI trade barbs in Senate over Imran letter to IMF

Senator Saadia terms letter to IMF direct meddling in Pak affairs

PTI’s Senator Humayun justifies writing to the world lender.

 

ISLAMABAD  -  The treasury and the opposition on Friday traded barbs in the Senate over PTI founder and ex-prime min­ister Imran Khan’s letter to the In­ternational Monetary Fund (IMF) calling on the global lender to link its release of next tranche of the bailout package for Pakistan with audit of February 8 elections.

PML-N Senator Saadia Abbasi, speaking on a point of public con­cern, dubbed the letter an open in­vitation to the financial institution to intervene into internal matters of Pakistan. “IMF is neither an investi­gation agency nor has the role to im­pose its will in matters linked with Pakistan’s sovereignty,” she said, add­ing that the domestic political issues should be resolved domestically.

She underlined that PTI’s role to­day was of a strong opposition par­ty that worked as a watchdog on the government. “This is not the way that we invite other foreign institu­tions or countries to intervene into the matters of the country,” she said, adding that it is only the duty of the government to talk with the IMF.

PTI Senator Humayun Mohmand in a rejoinder said that the letter had a background because IMF had sought a meeting with Imran Khan in June 2023. He said the IMF board had declared that it would offer a bailout package to Pakistan only af­ter Khan gave guarantee — a con­dition to which the PTI founder had agreed. He also said the former prime minister had been told that the first tranche would be released to the PDM government, second to the caretaker government and the third to the next elected government that would seize power as a result of free and fair elections.

“We are just reminding the lender that the next tranche should be giv­en to those having mandate”, he said while accusing that the government was being formed by those who had stolen votes. He reminded Senator Saadia that this was the opinion of his brother and former prime min­ister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, for­mer PPP Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar and PML-N leader Javed Latif. He protested by saying that a large number of MNAs took oath of their office, the other day, despite not having a public mandate.

PML-N Senator Irfan Siddiqui con­demned the move of letter to the IMF and referring to the PTI said that the party which has a slogan of “slavery unacceptable” should not invite for­eign institutions to intervene in po­litical affairs of Pakistan.

He also informed the chair that he has already submitted an adjourn­ment motion on the subject with the secretariat. PPP Senator Waqar Me­hdi viewed that his party also had reservations over the results of elec­tions as it was also deprived of cer­tain seats. “But elections are an in­ternal matter of Pakistan,” he said and added, “No country discusses its internal affairs with foreign in­stitutions or countries.” He also said those having grievances should ap­proach the election tribunals. PPP Senator Nisar Ahmed Khuhro said such moves would weaken democ­racy as the letter gave an opportuni­ty to others to intervene. He warned that Khan should not create hurdles as the country had an ailing econo­my and it needed funding of the IMF.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt