Pakistan’s prime minister directs spokespersons to highlight him as the government’s ‘brand’ to counter opposition’s criticisms of economy
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday urged the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s spokespersons to inform the public that there is no inflation in the country and opposition parties are “lying” about the country’s economic situation.
“We inherited a devastated economy that has been improved considerably,” he was quoted as saying by people who attended the meeting in Islamabad. “Do not let the opposition exploit the situation in any way and tell the people the facts and present a factual picture before them,” he added.
Pakistan’s inflation in December 2021 was reported at 12.3 percent by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, up from 11.5 percent in November. Government spokespersons, meanwhile, blame global commodity prices and claim the economy is “improving” and inflation would decline to the single digits in the coming months.
Briefing the meeting on the country’s economic situation, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin claimed that inflation had declined in December as compared to November—a statement that contradicts data issued by the PBS—and alleged that it would decline further in January. Maintaining that global commodity prices were declining, he claimed inflation would “disappear” within a few months. The meeting’s participants said they had expressed satisfaction over the declining inflation and falling prices of several key commodities.
Expressing satisfaction over the performance of the economic team, the prime minister directed spokespersons to inform the public that inflation would soon decline. He also urged them to counter the opposition by lauding him compared to their leaders. “I am your brand, who is not a thief or dacoit,” he said, adding that the opposition “protects its thieves, robbers and corrupt leaders.”