There is no way around it- Pakistan’s economy is in a troubling situation currently. The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government has to tread carefully now in whatever financial decision it has to take.

With so many citizens already on edge due to inflation and currency devaluation, the current Finance Minister Asad Umar now has another surprising critic. Ishaq Dar, who was the Finance Minister during Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)’s tenure, has pitched in with his opinion of the government’s handling of the economic crisis, and his criticism, while scathing, brings some important insights if there are true. In an interview, Dar expressed his contention with the recent rupee devaluation, pointing out that under his control, Pakistan’s credit rating had remained stable. He also warned that the government would further allow devaluation of the rupee according to IMF’s demands.

There are several reasons why Dar’s forewarnings should be taken with a pinch of salt. Firstly, Dar has not returned to face the accountability cases against him on grounds of his health ailments. The interview shows that Dar is in well enough health to come back to try the extremely serious allegations against him instead of skirting the law. Secondly, Dar may have maintained a fixed exchange rate but his inaction on stunted exports, which have contributed to the crises we are in currently, does not leave him much room to opine on.

Yet his statement, about further devaluation, if it is true, should be addressed by the government. By now, everyone is aware that the economy is in a bad place, and we will need to face some tough decisions to get it back on track. The government needs to communicate to the public exactly how bad it will have to get, so they can prepare to make smarter financial decisions, instead of unfairly burdening citizens with increasing prices without warning.