Pak cabinet has approved an ordinance to bypass all the procedures for selling assets to foreign countries in order to prevent the country from defaulting.

A crisis is brewing in Pakistan amid political instability and economic chaos.

This comes at a time when Pakistan needs economic reforms and a stable government as Pak rupee (PKR) continues its record-breaking nosedive against the dollar and reserves continue to deplete at a striking pace, the infighting between the political class continues, even dragging in the judiciary and leading to further polarization, read an editorial of The News International.

There have been suggestions that in order to resolve the political, administrative and economic instability, a dialogue between political parties and institutions needs to be held to ensure the trichotomy of power envisaged in the constitution.

Suggestions of a new social contract between all civilian political stakeholders have been doing the rounds for some time now, especially during the last few months.

Meanwhile, Imran Khan’s political rhetoric has risen ever since his party’s win in the Punjab by-elections and the Supreme Court verdict in favour of Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi as CM Punjab.

Taking a U-turn on a willingness to talk to other political stakeholders on important issues, Khan has now ruled out talking to those in the coalition government, reported The News.

Some observers are of the view that despite this, Khan will have to come back on the negotiating table if early elections are to take place. They also say that for such an eventuality, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) will have to be back in the National Assembly; that too now has the added complication of the Speaker of the National Assembly recently accepting 11 resignations of PTI MNAs.

This move is being seen as a message to the PTI by the government that two can play the game the PTI has been playing very effectively till now.

But the PTI seems pretty confident that such a move will not work in the government’s favour – either the government accepts all resignations, in which case it will have to go into new elections instead of holding by-elections on over a hundred seats, or the PTI will challenge this decision rather than allowing the government to accept resignations in phases and holding by-elections there, said the editorial.

Moreover, the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) is also in a flux over what to do next vis-à-vis the elections. While the coalition government is unanimous over judicial overreach, media reports suggest that there are some differences on the political front.

Also, Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz are in favour of early elections. The others are willing to discuss this option but have not yet reached a consensus.

Given how prices are being increased every day due to the IMF’s pre-conditions by the government, going into early elections can result in a huge blow to the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N).

But given Imran’s rhetoric, can it wait any longer? Even his allies are now taking the same course as the PTI. Just days after the Supreme Court verdict, the PML-Q central working committee decided to remove Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain as the party president, a party that he has been heading for almost two decades now.

For now, it seems politics trumps everything: from the economy to security to political history. Meanwhile, even as Imran strengthens his position, he faces a possible move from the Election Commission of Pakistan on the foreign funding case that just got a lot more interesting after the Financial Times report regarding Abraaj and Arif Naqvi’s role in raising funds for the PTI.

UK newspaper Financial Times revealed how the PTI accrued funds through cricket matches organised under Wootton Cricket Ltd, a company owned by Abraaj Group founder Arif Naqvi.

As per the report, Naqvi transferred three instalments directly to the PTI in 2013, adding up to a total of USD 2.12 million.

Apparently, Naqvi organised a charity fundraiser in the UK during the summer, the ultimate benefactor of which was the PTI.

The report claimed that fees were paid to Wootton Cricket Ltd, which, despite the name, was in fact a Cayman Islands-incorporated company owned by Naqvi and the money was being used to bankroll the PTI.

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