Protesters Urge IMF to Deny Loans to Pakistan Regime

Pakistan Protest

During the busy evening commute hour on March 14, supporters from Tehreek-e-Insaf (the Movement of justice or PTI) the political party of Pakistan’s jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan, protested outside the headquarters of the  International Monetary Fund (IMF). The group was demanding that the controversial United Nations global lender “uphold democratic principles” and that the Fund investigate the country’s February 8, 2024 “rigged election” before releasing Pakistan’s final payment in a $3 billion dollar bail-out.

The country of  241.5 million people is currently suffering under an external debt load of $126 billion even before receiving the final release of monies which it is now seeking.

With an IMF review now underway, Pakistan is seeking an even larger loan for a longer term while promising that it will seek a “reform agenda for economic growth and stability” according to an article in Voice of America (VOA) in its bid to entice the Fund, a lender of last resort, to look favorably towards granting its invocation for additional desperately needed financial resources.

On this the fourth day of Ramadan, PTI members gathered at the building’s main entrance while chanting and holding signs and banners calling for the release of Imran Khan from prison, ending human rights violations, media censorship, political engineering and the abuse of women. All this as a billboard truck circled the block displaying various demands made by the protesters as workers heading home populated the sidewalks and commute traffic filled the surrounding streets. One of the graphics on the truck declared “IMF: Profits over people” a declaration that resonated with many at the protest.

Pakistani journalist Dr. Moeed Pirzada was first to speak at the protest declaring that “If you look at the history of the IMF and Pakistan, you will see there have been many funds disbursed to Pakistan. Let me ask all the high officials of the IMF, how has the condition of Pakistani people changed, evolved or has it stayed the same. You’ve given billions and billions of dollars to Pakistani regimes throughout these years but the condition of the common man in Pakistan has not improved.”

“We want to tell the IMF here before you make the next installment to Pakistan, we want you to follow your fiduciary responsibility and do your due diligence and investigate into the election rigging that has happened which is unprecedented and obvious in the history of Pakistan. So, we are here demanding the IMF block any further funding, any loans to this corrupt regime until this mandate and the actual representation of Pakistan is restored and that a government that actually represents the will of the people has been brought into power.”

“If you loan these funds to Pakistan just like the last installment that you gave, those funds are going to be used to further crackdown on innocent people or on any political descent, and all these funds are going to land in the Swiss banks of these corrupt generals, corrupt politicians and judges. So here we are representing the true voice of the poverty stricken ‘Common Joe’ of Pakistan.”

Dr. Pirzada was followed by a second speaker addressing the pending loan from the IMF saying that “It is important to emphasize that the IMF should not have a program with Pakistan” referring to “The principal purpose of the international banks was to bring political stability because it was realized that countries that have disturbed economies tended to have disturbed politics.”

“We are here to remind the IMF that you have certain responsibilities. It is part of your own constitution and is the result of your creation that you have to ensure political stability. In Pakistan an election has been stolen. All that the Pakistani community is demanding all across the world, is that the IMF should tell the regime in Pakistan to do the scrutiny of the election. The IMF has huge power and a stranglehold on the current regime in Pakistan. All they have to tell them, behind the scenes, is that we are concerned about the results, about the allegations of election stealing. This is what the responsibility of the IMF is.”

Going further, the question of why in 2018 in the aftermath of Nicolas Maduro’s election in Venezuela, that was not considered fair by the US, EU and others, the “IMF did not give them the money. So, is the IMF now ready to give money to the Taliban, is the IMF ready to give money to North Korea, is the IMF ready to give money to Iran? We are not inventing a fantasy or a fiction. The IMF in the past has lived up to its obligation and so why not in the case of Pakistan? We are not saying the IMF should not give funds to Pakistan. Of course they should give funds to Pakistan. In a program and a process it has a responsibility to demand scrutiny and accountability of the election process.”

Report and photo by Phil Pasquini

© 2024 nuzeink all rights reserved worldwide

Support Countercurrents

Countercurrents is answerable only to our readers. Support honest journalism because we have no PLANET B.
Become a Patron at Patreon

Join Our Newsletter


Join our WhatsApp and Telegram Channels

Get CounterCurrents updates on our WhatsApp and Telegram Channels

Related Posts

Join Our Newsletter

Annual Subscription

Join Countercurrents Annual Fund Raising Campaign and help us

Latest News