Islamabad [Pakistan], May 8 (ANI): Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has asked Prime Minister Imran Khan to step down and apologise to the nation for the 'PTIMF' deal between the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
"It is not enough for the 'selected' Prime Minister Imran Khan to admit his mistake in the IMF deal. He should have listened to us before entering into the deal instead of now reviewing it," Bilawal in a statement, adding that the deal has ruined Pakistan's economy, reported The News International.
Khan's admission that the IMF deal was wrong was actually an acceptance of his incompetence, the PPP chairman said.
"First, he claimed that he would rather consider suicide than sign a deal with the IMF. Then after delaying until terms got harsher, he defended and signed onto the conditions that have crippled Pakistan, and now he is making another U-turn on the policies he championed about a month ago. Imran Khan makes mistakes, acknowledges those mistakes and then goes out and repeats the same mistake all over again. This is a country, not an elementary school," he added.
Bilawal further said that the federal government has overseen crippling price hikes of electricity, gas, and petrol at the behest of the IMF and that the economic fate of the country has been assigned to a few salaried employees of the global financing body.
The opposition leader further said Imran Khan's decision to devalue the rupee on the IMF's dictation had been catastrophic for the nation. "If Imran Khan had taken Parliament into confidence before the deal, the people would not have been drowning in the tsunami of inflation today," The News International quoted him.
Blaming the 'illegitimate and incompetent' PTI regime for record unemployment figures in the country, Bilawal pointed out that the party that had promised to create 10 million jobs had instead made millions of Pakistanis unemployed.
In 2019, Pakistan and the IMF announced that they had reached a preliminary agreement on a USD 6 billion bailout for the country's emaciated, debt-ridden economy, a rescue that Prime Minister Imran Khan had reluctantly embraced after opposing it earlier, reported The New York Times.
Pakistan has had an uneasy relationship with the lending body, and nationalist politicians often characterize it as a tool of American dominance.
When the deal was finalised, Pakistan already owed the institution USD 5.8 billion from past bailouts, and has only once completed its past programs. (ANI)