By Ali Imran
ISLAMABAD: As the country witnesses a historic economic crunch, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari Tuesday predicted that the state’s foreign exchange reserves would “someday” boost up to $100 billion.
“Pakistan will develop when our exports clock in at around $80-$100 billion. The state cannot work by taking funds from one [nation] or another. InshaAllah, a day will come when our reserves will be $100 billion,” Zardari said during an address to a workers’ convention in Vehari — a city in Punjab.
The former president’s statement comes as the country faces a daunting task on the economic front, a severe balance of payment increase, and an increase in its external liabilities.
The coalition partners are trying to woo the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for unlocking the critical $1.1 billion tranche — which will allow the nation to access further funding from bilateral and multilateral — as its foreign exchange reverses stand at $3.8 billion with an import cover of less than a month.
In his speech, Zardari said he understand the problems of the people, but noted that the PPP backed the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) to remove the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government for ensuring the nation’s survival.
“I knew that the inflation would come back to haunt us, but still, it was better to remove him [PTI Chairman Imran Khan,” Zardari said, noting that if the PPP would have taken a political approach, it would have let him remain in power as he was “zero” back then.
Zardari clapped back at Khan for blaming the incumbent rulers for the economic crisis and rising inflation and said that when the PPP left power back in 2013, the country was in a better position than it is now.
Weekly inflation declined by 0.30% and increased by 41.07% year-on-year during the week ended March 2, with masses fearing that the rise in food prices would lead to massive food insecurity.
The former president added that the ministries the PPP has “have fewer issues” and the party would address them soon. “We will also advise others to try and resolve your [masses] issues.”