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    “Imran Khan Calls for Election Audit Before IMF Loan Extension to Pakistan”


    Imran Khan Urges IMF to Withhold Loan Pending Election Audit in Pakistan

    In a bold move that underscores his commitment to transparency in governance, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Imran Khan has formally requested the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to conduct an audit of the recent February 8 election results before considering any new financial assistance to Islamabad.

    Confirmation of Khan’s action came on Friday, as he articulated concerns regarding the implications of acquiring further loans amidst the unresolved electoral discrepancies. “The letter has been written to the IMF and will be dispatched today. If the country gets a loan in such a situation, then who will return it?” remarked Imran Khan, emphasizing the potential exacerbation of Pakistan’s debt burden and its adverse impact on poverty levels.

    The decision to petition the IMF for an election audit follows a statement by PTI senator Ali Zafar, affirming Khan’s resolve to seek clarity on the electoral process before advancing discussions for a new loan program. However, reports suggest that the IMF has expressed willingness to engage with the new Pakistani government, seemingly disregarding Khan’s request.

    In response to Khan’s initiative, prominent Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader and former finance minister, Ishaq Dar, criticized the move, dismissing it as a self-serving endeavor. Dar denounced Khan’s actions as “condemnable” and asserted that the letter held no substantive weight, labeling it as an attempt for personal gain.

    Pakistan’s financial landscape has been under scrutiny as the nation navigates its economic challenges. Last year, Pakistan secured a crucial short-term USD 3 billion program from the IMF, preventing a sovereign debt default. With this program set to expire next month, there is significant pressure to negotiate a new, potentially larger loan under the new administration.

    The political climate in Pakistan remains tense following the coalition agreement between the PML-N, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), and their allies. Nationwide protests, led by the PTI and other political factions, have erupted, rejecting the validity of the election results.

    Central to the controversy are differing interpretations of electoral documentation, with the PTI advocating for a scrutiny of Form 45, which delineates results at individual polling stations, over Form 47, which consolidates results at the constituency level. The PTI alleges widespread vote rigging, particularly in light of its independent candidates securing a majority in the national assembly.

    As Pakistan grapples with economic uncertainties and political upheaval, Imran Khan’s plea to the IMF signals a determination to address electoral integrity as a prerequisite for financial stability, setting the stage for a crucial examination of Pakistan’s democratic processes amidst fiscal challenges.

    Sources By Agencies

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