Home Latest News Elections Will Occur When I Decide, Says Asif Ali Zardari

Elections Will Occur When I Decide, Says Asif Ali Zardari

PPP leader claims he can take foreign exchange reserves to $100 billion if he has a say in managing the economy

by Staff Report

File photo courtesy PPP Media Cell

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday claimed “they” cannot make elections happen in the next two months, adding general elections nationwide will occur “when I decide.”

Addressing party ticket-holders during a meeting at Bilawal House in Lahore—where Zardari has been striving to rebuild his party’s position in Punjab—he urged patience among workers, saying the PPP is no stranger to struggle. “The workers should be patient because the fruit of patience is something you cannot even imagine. All sorrows and pains will fade away,” he said.

Discussing the state of the national economy, the former president said that during his 14 years in prison he had studied several books on economics. “I proposed solutions during my era [as president], which led to our foreign exchange reserves reaching $24 billion. Insha Allah, when I manage the country’s economy again, we will raise the foreign exchange reserves to $100 billion,” he claimed, adding that all issues facing the country had solutions in politics. “Those who are not skilled in politics don’t have solutions,” he said.

The PPP leader also rubbished the perception that Pakistan spent too much on the Army, claiming the military budget was routinely targeted with undue propaganda.

Pakistan is currently amidst a “perfect storm” of a severe economic crunch, political instability and resurgent terrorism. The country’s foreign exchange reserves stand at a little over $4 billion, less than a month’s worth of imports, raising fears of a balance of payment crisis and impending default. A $6.5 billion Extended Fund Facility with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been stalled since November, with the government failing to revive it despite implementing several prior conditions, including withdrawing unsustainable subsidies and raising utility prices. This has had an unfortunate impact on inflation, which has hit record-high levels.

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