Zubair sees ‘deliberate move’ behind rupee slide

Updated May 18, 2019

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“With downfall of the rupee, value of Pakistan’s loans has increased by Rs1,000 billion,” says former Sindh governor. — EOS/File
“With downfall of the rupee, value of Pakistan’s loans has increased by Rs1,000 billion,” says former Sindh governor. — EOS/File

KARACHI: Former Sindh governor and leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Mohammad Zubair on Friday alleged that there were “deliberate moves” behind recent downfall of the Pakistani rupee against the US dollar, saying the government had surrendered “economic sovereignty” of the country by striking a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout package.

Addressing a press conference at the Karachi Press Club, he said the PML-N leadership was concerned over the recent economic crisis in the country and raised questions about the fate of the country if the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf further stayed in power under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

“With the downfall of the rupee, the value of Pakistan’s loans has increased by Rs1,000 billion,” he said. “This all [declining of the rupee’s value] has been done deliberately and it was an intentional move to devalue the rupee. The terms we have set with the IMF demands the same fate of our currency and it has started emerging within a few days. The situation would further worsen in the days to come.”

He pointed out several flaws in the amnesty scheme announced by the PTI government compared with the one introduced by the PML-N government. The amnesty scheme announced by the PML-N government did not allow public office holders and their family members to turn their black money into white.

“This government allows family members of public office holders to avail the facility. It means our PM would not do so, but his Aleema Baji would definitely benefit from it and can declare her assets. What else is the definition of corruption?” said Mr Zubair.

“Imran Khan and his government have created two types of Pakistan, one for the rich and corrupt class where rich people could turn their black money into white through amnesty scheme. The other is for the poor where they would become poorer.”

He feared the middle class of the country would get “crushed” after the implementation of IMF terms. He said the State Bank of Pakistan had now become “an office” of the international lender where decisions for the future of the country’s economy would be made.

Published in Dawn, May 18th, 2019