Imran says PTI plans to revive economy after coming to power

Delegation of ‘veterans’ meets PTI Chairman in Lahore n Anti-Terrorism Court extends Imran’s interim bail in two cases

LAHORE    -    Pakistan Tehreek-e-In­saf (PTI) Chairman Im­ran Khan said that his party is developing a strategy of saving the country from default if he comes to power by negotiating with the In­ternational Monetary Fund (IMF) on a “viable way of being able to pay our debts. 

In an interview with the Financial Times published Thursday, the former premier said: “We’re sitting with our economists [on] how to come up with a plan with which we can sit with the IMF and give them a viable way of being able to pay our debts. “But at the same time, our economy should not be choked so that our ability to pay debt goes down.”

In his interview, Im­ran said, “Whatever we do, when we look ahead, the debt is growing, our economy is slow­ly shrinking. […] From my party’s point of view, we’ve started thinking that we’re stuck.” Criti­cising the government for not being able to take the country out of the cur­rent economic crisis, he said it “needed to break out of borrowing cycles that have held back de­veloping economies”.

Saying that Pakistan will strug­gle to break out of a cycle of de­bilitating debt repayments with­out reform, he asserted his party would prioritise domestic reforms over seeking debt relief and ruled out a default if his par­ty returned to power.

The Financial Times quoted him explaining that his plans to revive the economy after coming to power included restructuring loss-making state-owned enter­prises and boosting the tax base.

“Is the answer getting more loans, or is the answer to restruc­ture the way we run the coun­try?” he asked rhetorically. “We have to conduct surgery in Paki­stan in the way we run our gov­ernment,” the PTI chief told the Financial Times.

“It’s not just Pakistan. Once you start borrowing in dollars and you have to service your debt in dollars,” Imran said. He raised the question of how the coun­try is going to pay its debts if the country’s dollar income doesn’t improve or increase.


An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Thursday extended the inter­im bail of Pakistan Tehreek-e-In­saf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan till May 4 in two cases. ATC Judge Ijaz Ahmad Buttar conducted the hearing on bail petitions of Im­ran Khan in three cases.

At the start of the proceedings, the head of Joint Investigation Team (JIT), constituted by the Punjab government to probe 10 cases against PTI leadership, in­formed the court that the arrest of the PTI chief was not required in a case, registered under the charges of ransacking and setting the state properties ablaze.

At this, Imran Khan’s counsel withdrew the bail petition of his client in the matter. He further requested the court to mark the attendance of his client through video link in other two cases in view of the security threats.

To a court query, the prosecu­tor argued that he was not aware of the threats, and the police could inform about it.

The court, after hearing de­tailed arguments of the parties, reserved its verdict on the plea to mark the attendance of Imran Khan through video link.

Later, the court allowed the plea and attendance of the PTI chief was marked through vid­eo link.

Subsequently, the court extend­ed the interim bail of Imran Khan till May 4 in two cases, besides dismissing his bail petition as withdrawn in the third case.

The court also extended the in­terim bail of PTI leaders, Farrukh Habib, Fawad Chaudhry, Ham­mad Azhar, Mian Mehmoodur Rashid and Ijaz Chaudhry till May 4.

Racecourse Police had regis­tered the cases against the PTI chief and other party leaders and workers on the charges of attack­ing the police teams and burn­ing official property and vehicles outside party leader’s Zaman Park residence. The cases had been registered under sections of Pakistan Penal Code and Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.

Meanwhile, a ten-member del­egation of Veterans of Pakistan called on Pakistan Tehreek-e-In­saf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan at his residence here at Zaman Park and expressed their full support to his stance that polit­ical stability and economic re­covery could only be achieved through immediate, free and transparent elections.

During the meeting, they voiced deep concern over the im­ported government’s policy that sow the seed of hatred against the institutions.

The ten-member delegation of veterans of Pakistan were in­cluded Brigadier (Retd) Mian Muhammad Mahmud, Found­ing Member; Secretory (Retd) Shamshad Ahmed, Member CEC; Lt. General (Retd.) Ali Kuli Khan Khattak, President; Lt. Gener­al (Retd) Asif Ali Malik, mem­ber CEC; Lt. General (Retd) Tahir Ali Qureshi, member; Lt. Gener­al (Retd) Sabih Bokhari, mem­ber; V. Admiral (Retd) Khawar Shah, member CEC, Air Commo­dore (Retd) Khaled Bashir Chee­ma, member; Brigadier (Retd) Naeem Sadiq, member and Ma­jor (Retd) Shahbaz Anwer Suleh­ria Secretary Information

The Veterans of Pakistan ex­pressed serious concern over the attempts of the ruling coalition to intensify the constitutional crisis in the country and the negative implications of the fast deterio­rating economic situation on the national security.

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