I think IMF is not a friend but a foe and its help would not bring any relief for Pakistan. It will, instead, bring more troubles. Lets look into the history a bit; we all know this is not the first time we are seeking help from IMF. We received their help some years back when some money poured in. They even marked us as a 'progressing' economy at that time but, after a decade or so, we are again back at their door as a basket case. But that is rather usual for IMF because if you look at the countries who got debt from IMF at any point of time, you will see that none was able to benefit enough to stand on its feet. In modern high finance, debt is a method to exploit the third world nations. The first thing the IMF wants to do now is to open our economy and reduce military budget by 30%. Reducing military budget would have bad consequences for the army right now because it is already fighting a war in tribal regions. The opening of economy will results in privatization of profitable government enterprises like Qadirpur gas fields. I agree that economic policies in Pakistan are conducted in an irresponsible manner. But going to IMF is no solution. Other alternatives exist but pursuing them requires strong political will. Argentina is an example in this regard; they refused to pay their debts and defaulted on their international debt. We could also do the same. -SAFIULLAH, Lahore, via e-mail, October 24.