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Business News/ News / World/  Pakistan's inflation soars to record 38%, surpassing Sri Lanka's

The government of Shehbaz Sharif in Pakistan is facing a difficult situation as the country is unwilling to meet the conditions set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which could lead to a default on its sovereign debt if the financing program expires at the end of June.

Additionally, Pakistan is experiencing its highest inflation rate on record since 1957, which puts further pressure on the government. In fact, Pakistan now has the highest inflation rate in Asia, surpassing Sri Lanka, with a rate of 38% in May 2023.

However, Sri Lanka's inflation rate has decreased to 25.2% after Pakistan overtook it in April 2023.

Despite Pakistan's historical reliance on support from the US in the past and now China, and its attempts to compare itself with India, the inflation rate in India is currently at 4.7%, the lowest it has been since October 2021. Additionally, the food inflation rate in India is just 3.8%. In contrast, Pakistan's food inflation rate has increased to 48.7% in May, up from 48.1% in April.

The negotiations between the Pakistani government and the IMF have become more complicated after the IMF mission chief, Nathan Porter, expressed his hope that the ongoing political crisis in Pakistan would be resolved in accordance with the country's Constitution and the rule of law. 

This statement was strongly criticized by Pakistan's Defense Minister, Khawaja Asif, who considered Porter's remarks as interference in the political affairs of Pakistan. Minister Asif took offence to Porter commenting on Pakistan's domestic politics instead of focusing on providing the much-needed $1.1 billion loan to the country.

Pakistan is currently experiencing polarization caused by the violence and chaos incited by supporters of Imran Khan Niazi, the leader of the PTI party, on May 9th.

As a result of Imran Khan Niazi's ongoing attacks on the Pakistani Army establishment, there is growing public scepticism about the ability of the Rawalpindi GHQ (General Headquarters) to effectively address the deep-rooted issues within the institution.

The Army itself displayed signs of internal division on May 9th when supporters of the PTI party set fire to the residence of the influential Lahore Corps Commander, further eroding public confidence. The situation in Pakistan is exacerbated by a lack of alignment between the judiciary, political leadership, and the Army, leading to the nation's vulnerability.

Insurgencies are intensifying in regions such as Balochistan, Sindh, and Tehreek-e-Taliban, with attacks targeting the armed forces in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provinces.

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Updated: 02 Jun 2023, 01:50 PM IST
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