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Public Debt, International Financial Institutions & Pakistan’s Case for Debt Justice

POLICY DIALOGUE

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Abdul Khaliq (Institute for social & Economic Justice); Sarmad Iqbal (Islamic Relief Pakistan), Hafiz Rashid (Punjab Urban Resource Center); Dr. Imdad Hussain – Moderator

FCC Lahore

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Pakistan debt is alarmingly on the rise. A look at statistics reveals its phenomenal increase: Pakistan added $1.6 billion in external debt in 8 years (2000-07) but PPP government added $19.6 billion in just 4 years (2008-11). General Pervez Musharraf  (1999-2008) added $23 billion. Soon after assuming power, Nawaz Sharif secured $6.7 billion IMF loan in September 2013. Furthermore it has acquired $ 2 billion through the launch of Eurobonds. Every Pakistani now owes debt of Rs. 101, 338. This figure was Rs.90, 772 in 2013. It was estimated as Rs.80, 894 in 2012 and it was only Rs. 37, 170 in early 2008. What are the implications of the debt for democracy and socio-economic development of Pakistan? Should the Government of Pakistan continue international borrowing? Or should it increase domestic resources? What should be the conditions for foreign borrowing? What should be the role of parliament, academia and civil society organizations in foreign debt contracts?