Pakistan has ‘already defaulted’- says defence Minister


Defence Minister Khawaja Asif on Saturday claimed that Pakistan has already defaulted and everyone including the establishment, bureaucracy, and politicians are responsible for it, a private TV channel reported.

“You must have heard that Pakistan is going bankrupt or that a default or meltdown is taking place. It (default) has already taken place. We are living in a bankrupt country,” he said while addressing a ceremony in Sialkot. He suggested that one-fourth of Pakistan’s debt could be paid off if only two golf clubs built on expensive government land were sold. He said the solution to the country’s problems lies within the country itself and not with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He revealed that he had been in the parliament for 33 years and had witnessed the country’s politics being disgraced for 32 of those years.

The defence minister said that standing on one’s own feet was essential to become a stable country. “The solution to our problems lies within the country. The IMF does not have the solution to Pakistan’s problems.” He said that everyone-including the establishment, bureaucracy and politicians-are to blame for the current economic mess as the law and constitution are not followed in Pakistan. Lashing out at the former government, Asif said that terrorists were brought to Pakistan two and a half years ago which eventually resulted in the current wave of terrorism.

Speaking about the attack on the police office in Karachi, he said that the security agencies bravely fought the attackers at the KPO.

Khawaja Asif said national harmony was needed to uproot the monster of terrorism but Imran Khan’s lust for power was creating hurdles in achieving that. He said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) avoided building a national consensus against terrorism by refusing to participate in the All Parties Conference (APC) called in the wake of Police Lines Peshawar tragedy.

While condemning the Karachi terror attack, the minister said the time has come to move beyond condemnation against terrorism. The government’s top priority was to control terrorism and deal with the economic crisis and it had kept all political differences and instability aside to achieve those endeavours.

The minister said Jail Bharo Tahreek should not be for workers only. Imran Khan advised all party workers to surrender themselves for the Jail Bharo Tehreek, but he himself was hiding in his home and calling his workers to reach Zaman Park and save him (from arrest), Khawaja added. He said, “Instead of getting pre-arrest bail and whining to the media, Imran should put his words into practice for the honor of politics.”__Daily Times