As Pakistan struggles to grapple with the economic crisis, the country's Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said on Saturday that the cash-strapped nation has "already defaulted", media reports said.
The senior Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader, while addressing a convention at a private college in Sialkot, said: "The country has defaulted. We live in a nation that has defaulted," Geo News reported.
Due to the serious economic crisis that has forced several industries to shut operations and pushed millions of people on the brink of poverty, the government is trying to get the IMF on board in the next day or two as depleting reserves and upcoming repayments on external fronts have pushed the government into the corner.
However, the Defence Minister said all the solutions to the nation's problems lie within the country and not the IMF - whose crucial $1.1 billion loan Pakistan is desperately trying to secure.
Pakistan's economy is in dire straits, stricken by a balance-of-payments crisis as it attempts to service high levels of external debt amid political chaos and deteriorating security, Geo News reported.
Inflation has rocketed, the rupee has plummeted and the country can no longer afford imports, causing a severe decline in the industry.
The critical position of foreign exchange reserves - which stand at around $3.19 billion as of February 10 - reflects the miseries of the $350 billion economy struggling to fund imports as thousands of containers of supplies were stranding at its ports stalling production and putting jobs of millions of people at risk.
Daily life for the masses, which was already tough given the current state of the economy, got even harder after the petrol price surged to a historic high of Rs272 per litre - in line with the IMF's demands.
"For the last 32 years, I have seen politics getting disgraced in Pakistan," the defence minister said, Geo News reported. (KB/IANS)