Pakistan's economic crisis: Army chief Bajwa meets business leaders; is Imran Khan isolated in Pakistan?

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Updated: Oct 04, 2019, 09:39 AM(IST)

FILE PHOTO: Pakistan Army Chief Lieutenant General Qamar Javed Bajwa Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

It is a known fact that in Pakistan, its the army that calls the shots. But even by Pakistan's standards, this is unprecedented.

Pakistan's economy has been going through a serious crisis for some time. Now, in a desperate attempt, the country's business community has sought help for Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa. 

The sequence of events indicates the weakening of Imran Khan's grip on power.

Businessmen of this Islamic Republic have pressed the panic button. And they went to meet the Army Chief — General Qamar Javed Bajwa — and asking him for help.

For a normal country, this would be odd. For Pakistan, this is par for the course.

It is a known fact that in Pakistan, its the army that calls the shots. But even by Pakistan's standards, this is unprecedented.

Watch: Pakistan's economy in crisis — Business leaders pin hopes on army generals

General Bajwa has been privately meeting with top business leaders. Reports say as many as three such meetings have taken place so far.

These were held at heavily guarded military offices in Karachi — that's the financial capital of Pakistan. Some meetings were convened in Rawalpindi, which is home to the army headquarters.

Reports say that business leaders shared advice on how to fix Pakistan's economy.Businessmen in Pakistan are a worried lot. They wanted immediate action from the Imran Khan government — but that hasn't happened.  

So they knocked on the doors of the army chief. And already, things are moving. Reports say there has been action on some requests. One report says that a meeting led to prompt decisions.

From there — instructions were dispatched to top government officials.The Pakistani government is downplaying these interactions.

A spokesman from Pakistan's finance ministry has denied claims of any interference from the military.At this stage, The businessmen of Pakistan are pinning their hopes on the generals.

They believe that the army chief has enough military power and clout to get things done.

Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa

General Bajwa isn't a regular army chief. He wears many hats. He is part of the high powered national development council.This is a 13-member body — that was set up by Imran Khan. It's job is to advise the Pakistan Prime Minister on long term economic policy.

So he was already directly involved in policymaking. These meetings are being called the beginning of a soft coup.And the army has a solid excuse, not that they need one. Pakistan's growth has plummeted to two point four per cent, the budget deficit — that's the difference between revenues and earnings — has spiked to nearly nine per cent.

Pakistan has secured a six billion dollar bailout from the international monetary fund to save its economy. But the bailout may not be enough.Pakistan owes six point seven billion dollars to china alone.

They need some experts to fight the economic battle. The reliance on generals may prove to be a costly mistake.

Read in App