Pakistanis paying heavily for Bajwa’s ‘regime change conspiracy’: Imran

LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman and former premier Imran Khan Thursday blasted former army chief General (r) Qamar Javed Bajwa and the incumbent PDM government for “pushing Pakistan deep into the economic turmoil” and blamed them for the prevailing financial woes of the country.

Since his ouster, the PTI chief has maintained that the no-confidence motion against him was a “huge foreign conspiracy against Pakistan” that he claimed was carried out by the United States.

Recently, however, Imran has shifted his focus away from the alleged role of the US in his ouster and towards former COAS Bajwa instead.

In an interview with Financial Times in November, Imran had signalled a desire to work with Washington saying he wants to mend relations with the US despite accusing it of treating Pakistan as a ‘slave’.

The former premier had said he no longer “blamed” the US and wants a “dignified” relationship if re-elected.

Then in Februrary, the PTI chief gave an interview to Voice of America where he had levelled accusations against Gen Bajwa claiming he “conspired with his political opponents to remove him from office with help from the US”.

Later in the interview, he retracted the accusations he had made against the US and squarely blamed Gen Bajwa for his ordeal saying “it wasn’t the US who told Pakistan [to oust me]. It was unfortunately, from what evidence has come up, Gen Bajwa who somehow managed to tell the Americans that I was anti-American.” The ouster plan “wasn’t imported from there. It was exported from here to there”.

Continuing his attack on the Bajwa and the incumbent government, Imran said that “Pakistanis are paying a heavy price of the regime change conspiracy where a “bunch of criminals have been foisted upon nation by ex COAS”.

“Rupee slaughtered,” Imran exclaimed as he noted that the Pakistani currency has “lost over 62% or 110/$ in 11 months of PDM.”

“This has increased public debt alone by Rs 14.3 trn & historic 75 yr high inflation of 31.5%”, he said.

The former prime minister’s tweet came after the Pakistani rupee plunged 8.29% (or Rs24.07) to a new all-time low of Rs290.18 against the US dollar in the interbank market at around noon on Thursday.

Inflation in Pakistan has skyrocketed to the highest level of 31.5% in half a century — becoming the 17th most expensive country in the world –after the government massively raised energy and fuel prices coupled with the adverse impacts of currency devaluation and imports at a halt.

Data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Wednesday suggested that the country was fast heading towards hyperinflation, with at least four consumer goods’ groups already in the territory of around 50% surge in prices on a yearly basis.

A plain reading of the inflation bulletin underscored that the life of a common Pakistani had become miserable, as there was hardly any consumable good whose price had not shot up in recent months.



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