I agree with the experts advocating other means to confront the supposedly imminent default instead of going to the IMF for a bailout. The conditionalities that come with an IMF bailout will be catastrophic for the country. An insight, into what it might look like, has been provided by the reporter of a local daily on 24.10.08. Among others, one of the conditions being contemplated right now is a 30 percent cut in our defence budget in three years time. Other cost cutting measures include reduction in number of posts having pension benefits both from government and semi government departments, increase in sales tax by Rs. 50 billions and imposition of a 7% agricultural tax. Most horrible of them all is the condition that 25% of all our government assets will be pledged as a security against loans and will be the property of IMF. Another condition is that the annual budgets, in the years to come, will be prepared by IMF experts instead of our Ministry of Finance. Are we prepared to mortgage our future generations? We, the citizens are not even if the rulers may be Perhaps, this is another blessing in disguise and an opportunity for the nation to stand up for itself. That is what had happened after we had to endure sanctions in 1998. The country is already destined to the proverbial Stone Age. One wonders how worse can we it be? -MOHAMMED ALI JAWAID, Karachi, via e-mail, October 24.