New Delhi, September 18
In behind-the-scenes manoeuvring between financial and political elites of Pakistan and the West, secret sales of military hardware by Islamabad to Ukraine enabled it to get out of a financial tight spot by receiving a bailout from the International Monetary Fund earlier this year.
Cipher case: Notice to FIA on Imran bail plea
The Islamabad High Court on Monday issued notice to Federal Investigation Agency seeking its response to the post-arrest bail plea of jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan in a case related to the alleged disclosure of state secrets. PTI
“The revelation is a window into the kind that rarely is exposed to the public, even as the public pays the price. Harsh structural policy reforms demanded by the IMF as terms for its recent bailout kicked off an ongoing round of protests in the country. Major strikes have taken place throughout Pakistan in recent weeks in response to the measure,” said a report from the US magazine Intercept.
It all began with the ouster of Prime Minister Imran Khan in April last year with the involvement of its military and encouragement of the US. The die was cast for his ouster after US State Department diplomats bitterly criticised Pakistan’s “aggressively neutral” stance on Ukraine under Imran Khan and warned of dire consequences if he remained in power. But they promised that “all would be forgiven” if he was removed.
After Khan’s ouster, Pakistan emerged as a useful supporter of the US and its allies in the Ukraine war and that assistance was repaid with an IMF loan, the magazine reported. “The emergency loan allowed the new Pakistani Government to put off a looming economic catastrophe and indefinitely postpone elections — time it used to launch a nationwide crackdown on civil society and jail Khan,” it said.
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