Imran Khan, the leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and a former prime minister, criticised Gen. Qamar Bajwa for turning to the US for assistance in securing the nation's urgently required IMF bailout. He asserted that the military chief should not be involved in economic concerns and that by intervening, the nation is becoming weaker.
Khan appears to have selective amnesia. Imran Khan endorsed the new National Security Policy that his government created. His NSP argues that economic security is just as important to a nation's security as is physical security. Imran Khan should read his own National Security Policy before criticising COAS Gen. Bajwa for attempting to salvage the nation's economy.
Why didn't Imran Khan order Gen. Bajwa to safeguard the economy of the nation if necessary? Furthermore, didn't Gen Bajwa routinely make similar contributions to the PTI government? Both queries have a resounding "yes" as an answer.
It's possible that Imran Khan is still unaware that when the PTI government took office in Pakistan in 2018, it enjoyed the support of the country's Establishment, which was headed by Gen. Qamar Bajwa. The economies of Saudi Arabia, the US, China, the UAE, and the EU were all prepared to invest billions in Pakistan.
By 2022, he had alienated each of these players in Pakistan's domestic and foreign policy spheres, though. P-5 (UNSC) states had two P-5 states that have declined to send ambassadors to Pakistan His ministers were involved in a public argument with important allies including the UAE and the KSA.
Even worse, he damaged US-Pakistan relations with his populist rhetoric to the point where President Biden's administration refused to communicate with his government. He increased the nation's debt on the economic front. He violated the terms of the IMF accord, seriously undermining Pakistan's credibility in global markets and leaving the nation in ruins and on the point of collapse.
The fact that the Army Chief called Under Secretary Wendy Sherman of the State Department and that it was made public demonstrate how seriously the Pakistan Army is taking Pakistan's economic fragility.
Asim Iftikhar Ahmad, a spokesman for the foreign ministry, confirmed the phone call. Between Gen. Bajwa and Wendy Sherman but did not provide further information. Asim said at a weekly news conference, "Well, I understand talk has taken place, but at this juncture. I am not in direct knowledge of the nature of this discussion.
Last week, Pakistan and the IMF came to an agreement at the staff level to revive a multibillion-dollar bailout package. The lender's board must still approve the agreement, and they are scheduled to convene in late August. Under the financing agreement, Islamabad is anticipated to receive around $4.2 billion, with a $1.2 billion initial tranche.
A representative for the State Department in Washington declined to officially confirm if the conversion had occurred. "US officials often discuss a variety of problems with Pakistani leaders. We generally refrain from commenting on the contents of private diplomatic discussions, the spokeswoman said.
Gen. Bajwa and Sherman had a conversation, which Nikkei Asia first reported on last Friday. According to the story, the Army Chief asked the White House and Treasury Department to use their clout to hasten the loan's delivery.
Politicians can flee to another country while the Army cannot.H. Hence the Pakistan Army has a greater stake in the country's financial stability. Since Army Chief Gen. Qamar Bajwa has consistently been a pillar of stability and confidence. Imran Khan's criticism is illogical once again. In contrast, the PTI-led government has strained ties with Pakistan's friends, allies, and sponsors in order to appease its base.
Because of this, a lot of people who follow US-Pakistan relations think. That Washington is taking Gen. Bajwa's request seriously and that the approval for the IMF would come shortly. As a result, money would probably start flowing before the August 25 IMF board meeting.
Balochistan-born politician and geopolitical analyst Jan Achakzai is the head of a research group. He tweets as Jan Achakzai.