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Pakistan has ‘already defaulted’, says Defence Minister Khawaja Asif

Pakistan has ‘already defaulted’, says Defence Minister Khawaja Asif

Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif.
| Photo Credit: AP

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif has said that Pakistan has already defaulted amid looming fears that the cash-starved country may go bankrupt and blamed the establishment, bureaucracy and politicians for the prevailing economic crisis.

Addressing a ceremony in his hometown Sialkot, he said that standing on its own feet was crucial for Pakistan to stabilise itself.

“You must have heard that Pakistan is going bankrupt or that a default or meltdown is taking place. It (default) has already taken place. We are living in a bankrupt country,” he was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune newspaper.

“The solution to our problems lies within the country. The IMF does not have the solution to Pakistan’s problems,” he said.

He said that everyone — including the establishment, bureaucracy and politicians — are to blame for the current economic mess as the law and Constitution are not followed in Pakistan.

The Minister said that most of his time had been spent in the Opposition camp and that he has witnessed politics being disgraced for the past 32 years.

Lashing out at the former government, Mr. Asif said that terrorists were brought to Pakistan two and a half years ago which eventually resulted in the current wave of terrorism.

Speaking about the attack on the police office in Karachi on Friday, he said that the security agencies bravely fought the attackers.

The remarks come as the country faces a crippling economic crisis, with decades-high inflation and critically low foreign exchange reserves depleted by continued debt repayment obligations, the report said.

Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves are slightly above $3 billion which is hardly enough for 10-15 days of imports.

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