In another hint of Army's growing influence and shift of power in Pakistan, a delegation of 20 businessmen called on Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa on Wednesday to apprise him of the dwindling state of economy in the country. The delegation comprising heads of various private companies and members of the Pakistan Business Council met Bajwa at a dinner, reported Pakistani media.
The meeting has led to some reports speculating Bajwa's growing interest in the economy may be an ominous sign for Imran Khan. This meeting shows Pakistan’s already powerful military is taking an even greater role in running the country as the economy stumbles.
While Imran Khan has so far enjoyed a good relationship with the military powers in the country, the military in Pakistan has the history of staging numerous coups. The economic slowdown has had direct impact on the military in Pakistan as for the first time in a decade, the defence spending was frozen in the 2020 fiscal budget.
Many also view Imran Khan’s party as an inexperienced administrator compared with the military, which is the country’s most respected and powerful institution.
Speaking to News Nation, Pakistani journalist Sajjad Parizad said that it was private meeting where big business tycoons shared their problems with the Army Chief. It is also being reported that Bajwa and the business class in Pakistan are coming closer to each other.
According to Bloomberg, the such meetings have taken place this year at heavily guarded military offices in Karachi, the financial capital, and Rawalpindi, a northern town that houses the army’s headquarters.
Currently, Pakistan is reeling under deep economic crisis and has been on a constant search for IMF bailouts.