Islamabad [Pakistan], July 25 (ANI): Pakistan's ex-Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Sunday warned of imminent economic collapse upcoming in the country and said that there is very "little time" left to save the country.
"There is very little time left to save the country from the 'economic apocalypse.' Political instability is taking the country towards default," Rashid wrote on his official Twitter handle on Sunday.
The warning comes amid renewed political turmoil triggered by the contentious Punjab chief minister election, reported The Express Tribune.
The political battle between opposition and coalition partners intensified over the controversial Punjab CM poll which saw Hamza Shahbaz retaining the chief minister's post on technical grounds.
According to the Punjab Assembly deputy speaker, Hamza received 179 votes whereas Chaudhry Pervez Elahi garnered 176 votes, but only after 10 votes of Elahi's own party were not counted, which turned the tables in Hamza's favour.
On Elahi's petition, the Supreme Court on Saturday directed that Hamza Shehbaz would remain as a 'trustee' chief minister of Punjab by July 25 (Monday) -- the next date of hearing, reported The Express Tribune.
Commenting on the political situation in the country, Rashid said, "We have to make important decisions before August 30, otherwise no government would be able to function."
In another tweet, the former Interior Minister asked, "Why did Attorney General (Ashtar Ausaf Ali) leave the country leaving aside important legal and constitutional matters."
Rashid accused the ruling PML-N of running an anti-judiciary campaign and asked CM Hamza to "pack his bag" as the fate of his government hinges on the apex court verdict.
He also asserted that come what may general elections would be held in October or November this year.
Rashid added that politics in the country is only possible under a "strong state".
"Today dollar is not available for import of raw materials," he added.
Pakistan is fighting with its fast-exhausting foreign currency reserves and widening fiscal and current account deficits, along with a rupee that has lost almost 20 per cent of its value in just 7 months since January 2022.
State Bank of Pakistan's reserves has fallen to as low as USD 9.32 billion, hardly enough to pay for 45 days of imports. The red line for SBP foreign currency reserves is USD 7.5 Billion to avoid "default".
Pakistan's political instability threatens to derail efforts to regain the confidence of key lenders. The country's currency endured its worst week in more than two decades, reflecting investors' worries that the country risks following Sri Lanka to become the next emerging economy to default on foreign repayments.
In a desperate move to avert default, the federal cabinet approves an ordinance to sell state resources. The government has approved an ordinance to bypass all procedures involved in the sale of state assets and abolished the regulatory checks through the 'Inter-Governmental Commercial Transactions Ordinance 2022'.
The move is being seen as a desperate attempt to save the country from default through the emergency sale of the state's assets to foreign countries. However, President Arif Alvi has not signed the ordinance yet. (ANI)