In a startling revelation, Pakistan’s new Information and Broadcasting Minister, Attaullah Tarar, accused the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, led by imprisoned former Prime Minister Imran Khan, of orchestrating a conspiracy to undermine Pakistan’s economy. Tarar alleged that PTI had petitioned the European Union (EU) to revoke Pakistan’s Generalised System of Preferences Plus (GSP+) status, a move that could have dire consequences for the nation’s economy.

The GSP+ status, granted to Pakistan in 2014 and extended until 2027, enables the country to export goods to the European market with reduced or eliminated tariffs, thereby fostering economic growth and development. Tarar emphasized that this privilege was crucial for Pakistan’s economic stability, and any attempt to revoke it would harm the country’s vulnerable population by exacerbating inflation and limiting job opportunities.

Tarar further claimed that PTI’s actions were part of a broader campaign aimed at discrediting the government, particularly following the February 8 elections. Imran Khan and his party have repeatedly highlighted electoral fraud in favour of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) led by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Khan even urged the International Monetary Fund (IMF) not to extend financial assistance to Pakistan until an audit of the elections was conducted.

Imran Khan compromised well-being of the country: Tarar

Addressing reporters at a press conference, Tarar denounced PTI’s tactics as a threat to national interests, asserting that the party was prioritizing its own political agenda over the well-being of the country. He refuted claims of mistreatment of Imran Khan during his imprisonment, stating that the PTI founder had been provided with numerous privileges contrary to prison regulations, including multiple weekly meetings and additional amenities.

Responding to allegations of insufficient facilities for Khan, Tarar clarified that the decision to restrict meetings was based on security concerns near Adiala jail, where Khan is detained. He accused PTI of fabricating falsehoods to garner sympathy and manipulate public opinion.

The accusations come at a time when Pakistan is grappling with a severe financial crisis, exacerbated by political instability and allegations of corruption. The return to power of the PML-N-led alliance in the National Assembly has added to the uncertainty, prompting Pakistan to seek financial aid from international sources, including negotiations with the IMF.

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