At a time when the Pakistani economy is in utter shambles and the local currency has touched record lows against the US dollar, the country's finance minister said that there is no economic crisis here.
In what perhaps is an example of living in denial mode, Asad Umar said that Pakistan is not facing an economic crisis and that any statements to the contrary are just rumours. Pakistan-based Dawn reported that Umar was speaking at the 11th South Asia Economic Summit in Islamabad where he claimed that all was well. "All the fundamental economic indicators are improving as a result of effective policies of the present government," he said, just a day after the country's KSE-100 Index nosedived 1,335.43 points (3.30 per cent).
Commenting on the Pakistani Rupee crashing against US dollar, Umar reportedly said that the currency has been underperforming since last year but that things are now beginning to look up. He also claimed that exports are rising and current account deficit is being brought under control.
Umar's claims, however, do not align with the developments in Pakistan as the country has been desperately seeking bailout packages. It has already approached the International Monetary Fund (IMF) but the US has said it won't allow American dollars (US is a major contributor for IMF) to be used by Pakistan to repay Chinese debts. Pakistan PM Imran Khan has also been to Saudi Arabia and China and has managed to get assurances of financial assistance. Prior to this, Imran also asked Pakistanis living abroad to contribute for the construction of dams in the country as there was no money left to prevent a water scare that is looking on the horizon.
Even military aid from the US has been cut back after Donald Trump said Pakistan has only 'given lies and deceit.'
The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 1, 2018
Even within Pakistan, several ministers have previously said that billions of dollars are needed to help Pakistani economy stabilise. Umar himself said in August that 9 billion dollars are required to keep the economy afloat.