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Cleric Proposes Setting up Chit-Fund with Islamic Nations, Urges Govt to Ditch IMF

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Edited By: Shankhyaneel Sarkar

Last Updated: February 08, 2023, 15:34 IST

A cost of living crisis and inflation is eating into the lives of Pakistani citizens as the govt awaits the release of a suspended IMF bailout package (Image: Reuters/Representative)

Allama Nasir Madni told his followers that Pakistan can stop negotiating with the IMF and set up a chit fund with only Islamic countries to resolve the ongoing economic crisis

A cleric from Pakistan has caused controversy by proposing the Pakistan government to form a chit-fund consisting of only Islamic nations and asking them to deposit billion dollars each to solve the ongoing economic crisis, according to a video shared by News18 Hindi.

The cleric, Allama Nasir Madni, is seen talking to his followers where he proposed that setting up such a chit fund would eliminate the need of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The comments from the cleric came after hardliner Islamist leader Saad Rizvi, who heads the previously banned Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan party, earlier in January, asked the Pakistan government to go to nations with a nuclear bomb and demand money.

The reactions from Pakistan’s far-right political parties signals that a section of the political spectrum is unable to grasp the magnitude of the problem Pakistan economy currently finds itself in.

This also poses a risk for the Pakistan government because these so-called hardliners and religious leaders have a massive following online and their false messaging can cause law and order issues at a time when the country is struggling.

HRW Warns Conditions Will Trouble Pakistan’s Poor

The conditions proposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Pakistan may end up exacerbating the problems faced by common citizens, according to a report by news agency Dawn citing the Human Rights Watch (HRW).

The HRW urged the IMF to work with the government by expanding social protection systems and reducing the reform measures to help those who are vulnerable.

Pakistan is facing one of the worst economic crises in its history and people face food insecurity, unemployment and risk living in conditions that would adversely affect their health, the HRW said.

Pakistan’s negotiations with the IMF is expected to end on February 9 and if those negotiations are successful then the $1.1bn tranche will be released under the Extended Fund Facility programme. Though this would not solve problems in the long-term, it will ease the pressure on dwindling forex reserves.

Pakistan will also have to work out a plan to extend its social protection system, the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) to help prevent large sections of impoverished families slipping further into poverty.

It currently assists millions of households by giving money to women living in extreme poverty, the programme will have to be expanded to bring more women living under the poverty line in its ambit.

(with inputs from Shalinder Wangu)

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