Pakistanis paying heavy price for `regime change conspiracy`: former PM Imran


Pakistanis pay a high price for the “conspiracy” of regime change, deposed Prime Minister Imran Khan he said Thursday as he again lashed out ex-army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa for helping a “bunch of criminals” rise to power.

Khan, the chairman of Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf party, denounced the government for “slaughtering” the Pakistani rupee, saying it has increased the national debt and led to high inflation.

The Pakistani rupee fell sharply by Rs 18.74 against the dollar in the interbank market on Thursday. Analysts attributed the record drop to the government’s standoff with the International Monetary Fund.

“Rupee slaughtered – lost more than 62 pounds or 110/$ in 11 months of PDM. This has increased the national debt alone by Rs 14.3 trillion and historic high inflation in 75 years by 31.5 pounds,” Khan tweeted.

The ailing Pakistani economy is in dire straits. Foreign exchange reserves fell to a critically low level of USD 2.9 billion a few weeks ago. The poor country is eagerly awaiting the $1.1 billion package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Pakistan’s long-time ally China is the only country to refinance $700 million to Islamabad. “Pakistans are paying a heavy price for regime change conspiracy where a bunch of criminals were foisted on the nation by ex-COAS,” Khan tweeted.

The 70-year-old Khan has been at odds with Bajwa since he was removed from power in an April vote of no confidence. Khan has previously claimed that the former army chief wanted him killed and declared a state of emergency in the country.

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In January, he accused Bajwa of playing a “double game” against his government and said he committed a “big mistake” in extending the then military chief’s term in 2019.

The 61-year-old Bajwa retired on November 29 last year after being awarded a three-year extension in 2019 by then Prime Minister Khan, who turned out to be the biggest critic of the Pakistani military.

The powerful military, which has ruled the coup-prone country for more than half of its more than 75-year existence, has so far wielded considerable power in matters such as security and foreign policy.

Khan, the former cricketer turned politician, is the only Pakistani prime minister to be ousted by a vote of no confidence in parliament.

He had claimed that the vote of no confidence was part of a US-led conspiracy against him for his independent foreign policy decisions on Russia, China and Afghanistan. The US has denied the allegations.

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