'We know how to form and dismantle governments', says Pakistan President Zardari

NewsDrum Desk
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Islamabad, Jul 11 (PTI) Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has criticised Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's cash-strapped government over its handling of the IMF deal and its reliance on loans, saying he will not abandon people and he knows how to form and dismantle governments.

In July 2023, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a USD 3 billion Stand-By Arrangement for debt-trapped Pakistan to support immediate efforts to stabilise the economy and guard against shocks while creating space for social and development spending to help the people of the country.

Earlier this week, Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb warned that Pakistan will continue to seek IMF bailouts if it fails to boost tax revenue.

"The IMF loans are a test for the public," Zardari said, accusing the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party of failing to manage the government effectively.

"We know how to form and dismantle governments... We will not abandon our people," he was quoted as saying by the ExpressTribune newspaper.

He promised that his Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) would take decisive action.

PPP leaders have voiced concerns about the lack of cooperation from the Punjab and federal governments. "We are not getting our full rights," a leader complained, pointing out that electoral issues remain unresolved.

Zardari assured the leaders of addressing their grievances, stating his commitment to active engagement in Islamabad and Lahore. He emphasized the PPP's unmatched capability in Pakistani politics, viewing criticism of the party as a form of recognition.

He urged PPP workers to prepare for intensified efforts ahead, particularly in promoting youth leadership within the party's ranks.

Previously, President Zardari revealed the government's intention to impose taxes on agricultural income in alignment with the IMF conditions.

This initiative will primarily be managed by provincial governments, he said, targeting large landholding farmers based on their profitability and expenditures.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has travelled recently to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and China to solicit investments on top of the IMF programme, which would be Pakistan’s 24th with the multilateral lender. PTI ZH AKJ ZH ZH