Islamabad [Pakistan], February 8 (ANI): The success of India's global diplomacy has pushed Pakistan into a corner, especially among the leading Islamic nations but Shehbaz Sharif is busy stoking the Kashmir issue inspite of its faltering economy, reported Asian Lite International.
Pakistan is spinning new conspiracy theories after Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif claimed that a plot had been conceived to freeze the Kashmir issue for 20 years.
Sharif of course hastened to declare that no Pakistani could even think of allowing this to happen, the Dawn reported.
"Moments ago, some people shared with me in the (speaker's) chamber that a plot was conceived to defer the plebiscite in Kashmir until the next 20 years. There cannot be any conspiracy and cruelty with the Kashmiris bigger than this," Sharif said.
"I think no Pakistani politician or serviceman or soldier can even think anything like this," added Shehbaz, the Dawn reported.
PM Sharif's disclosure was a veiled affirmation of rumours doing the rounds for some time about the freezing of the Kashmir issue for 20 years through backchannel diplomacy.
Meanwhile, Pakistan's economy is on the brink and the cash-strapped nation is in talks with the International Monetary Fund.
"We are faced with huge financial challenges. While I talk to you here, an IMF delegation in Islamabad is combing every book and subsidy of every single penny," said Shehbaz.
Pakistan is discussing an economy-rescuing plan with IMF that includes an instalment of a USD 1.1 billion loan payment from a USD 6.5 billion bailout package, which was designed to ward off Pakistan's economic meltdown in 2019.
"We have to live, but like the living nations do and not with a begging bowl. This continued to happen over the past 75 years, but someone somewhere has to stop it. And this will stop when the whole nation will unite to challenge poverty, hunger and dearness, and generate the country's internal resources," Sharif said.
For the week ending January 27, the State Bank of Pakistan-held foreign exchange reserves fell by 16 per cent to USD 3 billion -- an amount which covers less than three weeks' worth of the country's imports, reported Geo News.
The country is already facing its highest levels of inflation since 1975, while the cost of perishable commodities increased by 60 per cent in January. A rise in inflation is expected to continue.
Responding to IMF's demand, Pakistan -- at the end of last month -- hiked prices of fuel and lifted a cap on the rate of foreign exchange with the rupee's value taking a nosedive, in addition to a 9.6 per cent loss on a single day in January, reported Geo News. (ANI)