Imran Khan’s government came to power in 2018 promising to reorient Pakistan’s economy toward the needs of the population. But faced with a debt crisis it soon dropped its reformist agenda — and now, the International Monetary Fund is pressuring it to place its State Bank permanently beyond democratic control.
Ammar Ali Jan is a historian who works on Communist thought in Asia and is a member of the Haqooq-e-Khalq Movement in Pakistan.
Pakistani authorities made a bad start to the coronavirus response, using the crisis to push through an IMF agenda of hospital privatization. Faced with protests by health professionals, the government immediately opted for repression — showing that it considers health care for the masses mere unnecessary spending.