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Row breaks out over former Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s letter to IMF regarding ‘poll audit’

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Islamabad (Pakistan), March 2 (ANI): Senators from both sides of the political aisle clashed over Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan’s letter to the International Monetary Fund ( IMF) linking the release of the next tranche of the bailout with the “audit” of the February 8 elections, Dawn reported.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senator Saadia Abbasi, while raising the issue in the Upper House of Parliament, regretted inviting the global lender to intervene in Pakistan’s internal affairs.

She said the IMF was “neither an investigative agency nor has the role of imposing its will on matters relating to the sovereignty of Pakistan.” She added that Khan’s role was that of one of the strongest opposition parties today.

Abbasi further said that the opposition was a watchdog of the government and a government in waiting, but “domestic issues should be resolved at the national level”, stressing the need for all to come together to protect the interests of the country.

In response, PTI Senator Humayun Mohmand said it was the IMF that had requested a meeting with Khan in June 2023. He said the IMF Board of Governors had said it would offer a bailout “only after Imran Khan gave a guarantee.” said the PTI chairman was informed that the first tranche would be given to the Pakistan Democratic Movement – the ruling coalition government, the second to the caretaker government and the third to the government “which will get the people’s mandate in free elections and fair. “We just remind them that the next tranche must be paid to those who have a mandate,” the senator said, while accusing the ruling government of “being formed by those who stole the mandate.” Mohmand recalled to PML-N Senator Abbasi. that this was also the opinion of former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, former PPP Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar and PML-N leader Javed Latif. He congratulated PML-N candidate from NA-66, Nisar Cheema, for admitting that defeat was better than a stolen mandate, according to Dawn.

PML-N Senator Irfan Siddiqui said inviting a foreign institution to intervene in Pakistan’s internal affairs was condemnable. He also informed the president that he had already submitted a motion to adjourn on the subject to the secretariat.

PTI lawmaker Zeeshan Khanzada has criticized the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for not allocating reserved seats to the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), which was joined by PTI-backed independent candidates.

Another PTI senator, Saifullah Abro, stressed that the election for the post of prime minister should take place only after the National Assembly concludes, with the allocation of reserved seats. He said that except the PML-N, all parties were complaining that “the elections were rigged”, Dawn reported. (ANI)

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