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IMF Deal Is Like 'Treating Cancer With Aspirin', Says Imran Khan

© AP Photo / Rahmat Gul A produce vendor waits for customers at a market in Islamabad, Pakistan, on Jan. 22, 2022.
 A produce vendor waits for customers at a market in Islamabad, Pakistan, on Jan. 22, 2022. - Sputnik India, 1920, 16.02.2023
The Shehbaz Sharif government has faced criticism from all sides for how it has handled the economic crisis ravaging Pakistan.
Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has likened the country's deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to "treating cancer with aspirin".
According to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief, the IMF bail-out package is unlikely to solve Pakistan's financial problems in the long-run, offering, as it does, only short-term relief as mounting loans would raise the economic burden on the treasury.
Addressing Pakistani citizens on live TV, the former premier said that the nation's economy is heading towards the worst possible scenario, given the country's sovereign default rating.

"Global rating agency Fitch has downgraded Pakistan's foreign default rating to 'CCC-', which means we have reached the level of Sri Lanka," Khan stated.

The 1992 Cricket World Cup captain's comments came at a time when the Shehbaz Sharif-led Pakistan government is still in talks with the IMF about releasing the next $1.12Bln tranche as part of a $7Bln bail-out package that has been delayed for months.
Former Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan (C-L) addresses an anti-government rally in Rawalpindi on November 26, 2022. - Sputnik India, 1920, 14.02.2023
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Last week, the IMF and the Pakistani government held talks about the topic and agreed to most of the conditions the US-based multilateral agency was insisting on. It included removing government control on the US Dollar-PKR exchange rate and raising the price of petroleum products.
Pakistan, on Wednesday, raised the price of petrol and diesel to an all-time high, with a liter of petrol selling for 272 Pakistani rupees (PKR) ($1.02) and a liter of diesel costing 280 PKR ($1.05).
Besides the historic rise in petrol and diesel prices, the Sharif government is thinking about increasing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the country on all products to 18 percent from the present 17 percent.
The country is in the midst of an escalating financial crisis, with forex reserves falling to lower than $3Bln, the lowest in nine years and only enough to sustain around 18 days of imports.