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PTI Seeks IMF Assurances of Audit of General Elections

In letter, penned by spokesperson Raoof Hasan, party founder to require ‘good governance’ and ‘conditionalities’ prior to granting any finance facility

by Staff Report

File photo of PTI founder Imran Khan

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has sent a letter to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), urging it to call for an audit of the 2024 general elections to ensure political stability in the country prior to inking any new bailout deal.

Confirming the development, PTI leaders Gohar Ali Khan, Omar Ayub, Meher Bano Qureshi, and Muzammil Aslam told a press conference in Islamabad that the letter was written by party founder Imran Khan’s spokesperson Raoof Hasan. They said it had been given to the IMF resident representative in Pakistan and would be opened in Washington. Gohar said that once its intended recipients received the letter, it would be shared with media also.

“For now, we can share that PTI’s founding chairman Imran Khan does not want any adverse effects on the economy of Pakistan. In the letter, we have reminded IMF of its promises that the election will be free and fair,” he said.

According to Gohar, the incoming coalition government lacks the mandate to form the government and would not be able to steer the country out of crises. “Today a debate has been started about why the PTI wrote a letter to the IMF. It is the vision of Imran Khan to ensure the development of the country and not let anyone become a burden on the economy,” he claimed.

While the PTI has not yet officially released the contents of the letter, a draft of it was widely available on social media overnight. In it, the PTI has called on the IMF to back an election audit by the Free and Fair Election Network and Pattan-Coalition38, to expose alleged rigging in the polls. Alleging “widespread intervention and fraud in the counting of votes and compilation of results” during the polls, it said several political parties, western governments, Commonwealth observers, local civil society organizations, and international print and electronic media had called for an independent probe into these claims.

“In view of the policies and principles the IMF stands for, there should be no doubt that the abuse of power by a small number of holders of public office to impose their likes and dislikes on Pakistan’s populace as aforesaid, and thus to ensure their continuing personal gain, would not be promoted or upheld by the IMF,” it said. “We, therefore, call upon the IMF to give effect to the guidelines adopted by it with respect to good governance as well as conditionalities that must be satisfied prior to the grant of a finance facility that is to burden the people of Pakistan with further debt. An audit of at least 30 percent of the national and provincial assemblies’ seats should be ensured, which can be accomplished in merely two weeks,” it continued.

“Such a role by the IMF would be a great service to Pakistan and its people, and could become the harbinger of enduring prosperity, growth, and macroeconomic stability in the country,” it added.

The PTI’s letter has attracted the ire of interim Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar, who described it as “highly irresponsible.” Maintaining there were appropriate forums for the electoral disputes, he said such moves risked hampering the national economy and were unjustified.

Economic experts are clear that cash-strapped Pakistan has no choice but to proceed to a fresh IMF bailout immediately after the formation of the new government. It is expected the deal would be tough, requiring several decisions that could trigger further inflation, posing great risk to the incoming government.

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