Pakistan Must Get Ready To Face The IMF – OpEd


Most of the politicians in Pakistan, being part of the ruling junta or sitting in the opposition, talk ‘bad’ about International Monetary Fund (IMF), mainly to attain political mileage. 

While every political party in opposition blames IMF of economic malice of Pakistan, but no sooner did it comes in power approaches the lender of last resort and often agrees on its (IMF) condition in the name of saving the country from eminent default.

Pakistan and IMF have a long history of love and hate relationship. Since independence Pakistan has entered into 22 bailout programs and also enjoys the distinction of the country that has entered into the largest number of programs, among the community of nations. This establishes a point, “IMF will never allow Pakistan to commit default. This has become all the more necessary after Pakistan has attained the status of ‘an atomic power’.

I am inclined to accept one of the conspiracy theories of my mentor, Masoom Shah Sindhi. He says, “IMF will never allow Pakistan to commit default, but it will also never allow Pakistan to stand on its feet firmly.” He also says, “Historically Pakistan has remained ‘Frontline Alley’ of United States during ‘Cold War Era’ as well as ‘Proxy Wars in Afghanistan’. On top of all the super power will not allow Pakistan to become a darling of Russia or China. The best tool to keep Pakistan under the ‘US Hegemony’ is to make Pakistan follow the ‘IMF Dictate’.”

I have to accept his point of view and I am also sure that you will also join me once you read my narrative. “Pakistan has lived under 22 IMF programs and the lender of last resort still talks about introducing more structural adjustment programs. This proves two points: 1) the programs introduced in the past were faulty or 2) these programs were never aimed at making Pakistan a self-sustained entity.”

Many Pakistanis may be ready to accept the ‘vested’ interest of IMF, but do have a right to raise finger at the integrity of policy planners. Ironically, the policy planners have been following IMF dictate blindly and failing in coming up with ‘home grown’ plan. The beauty is that the politicians continue ‘mudslinging’ despite having remained part of different governments under different political parties.

Enough is enough, the time has come that people of Pakistan open their eyes and ears open and watch every move of the incumbent government, headed by Shehbaz Sharif. 

Time has also come that the people of Pakistan ‘dump’ the political parties and politicians who have proven to be ‘vultures’ only. They have done little for the country, except serving ‘their vested interests’.  

Shabbir H. Kazmi

Shabbir H. Kazmi is an economic analyst from Pakistan. He has been writing for local and foreign publications for about quarter of a century. He maintains the blog ‘Geo Politics in South Asia and MENA’. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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