Islamabad [Pakistan], August 27 (ANI): Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan asked Finance Minister Miftah Ismail to reach out to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and demand relief from the global lender, as the death toll from calamitous floods in the country swelled to near 1,000 on Saturday with no end in sight.
According to ARY News, the PTI chief, speaking at a party rally lashed out at Miftah Ismail for targeting Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Finance Minister Taimur Jhagra over the IMF deal, "Taimur Jhagra is demanding the right of the province and asking time for meeting with finance minister over the past two months."
Khan further said that Miftah refused to meet Jhagra and now the former was wrongly accusing the KP government of the Islamabad-IMF deal "jeopardy".
"PTI govt took relief from IMF during Covid-19 pandemic. I would ask Ismail to show some courage and talk to IMF for relief during these testing times," Imran Khan said.
Addressing a press conference late Friday, Miftah criticised the PTI leaders for putting the country at stake when it is already reeling from the devastations caused by flash floods and relentless rains. He lashed out at Taimur Khan Jhagra for "jeopardizing" the IMF programme ahead of its Executive Board meeting scheduled for Monday, ARY News reported.
Meanwhile, a business advocacy body in the country has also urged the Federal Revenue Minister Miftah Ismail and the State Bank of Pakistan to renegotiate the monetary funding deal with the International Monetary Funds (IMF). The advocacy body said that the funding arrangements of the IMF are unlikely to be sufficient considering the situation in the country.
"Worst rains & floods in history with major loss of cotton, wheat & rice, will have $5-8 Bn additional impact on CAD. The current funding arrangements with IMF etc are unlikely to be sufficient. Fiscal account will also be impacted. Best to renegotiate. @MiftahIsmail @StateBank_Pak," the tweet from The Pakistan Business Council (PBC) read.
Pakistan is facing the worst calamity in past years, which has pushed most of the country into a crisis.
As heavy floods continue to ravage the region, the water flow of the River Indus in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Kohistan District is increasing very fast forcing the police to evacuate people in surrounding areas, Geo News reported.
At present, more than half of Pakistan is under water and millions of people have been rendered homeless as a result of flash flooding generated by abnormal monsoon rains which have entered their eighth spell with no signs of subsiding.
According to the latest estimates, nearly 1,000 people, including 300 children, have lost their lives because of rains and resulting flooding that has impacted nearly 33 million people - almost 15 per cent of the country's population.
Besides, more than 1,450 people have suffered injuries. The devastating floods have killed 802,583 livestock while 498,833 are in relief camps, Geo TV reported.
Many rivers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa -- a picturesque province of rugged mountains and valleys -- have burst their banks, demolishing scores of buildings including a 150-room hotel that crumbled into a raging torrent.
The Nowshera region near the Kabul River was at risk of high-level floods as the water levels rose by 300,000 cusecs, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) flood warning cell cautioned on Saturday.
Nowshera Deputy Commissioner (DC) Mir Reza Ozgen renewed his call for the relocation of the district's residents to safer places as the flow in Kabul River rose above 300,000 cusecs, resulting in a "very high flood" in the water body.
Amid the current situation, Sixty-six districts have been officially declared to be 'calamity hit' by the Government of Pakistan - 31 in Balochistan, 23 in Sindh, nine in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), and three in Punjab.
Telephone and internet services were disrupted in several parts of the country due to damage caused by torrential rains.
Shehbaz Sharif's government on Thursday officially declared a "national emergency" after rains and flood-related incidents killed over 900 and left at least 30 million without shelter. (ANI)