The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) came to power in 2018 following an election that most observers agreed was free and fair but which was characterized by persistent allegations of pre-poll rigging by the military establishment. Opposition parties formed the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) in 2020, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Imran Khan and the holding of fresh elections.

Pakistan’s economy contracted by 0.5% due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, while economic reforms led to a decline in imports and an improvement in the current account balance, they also precipitated high levels of inflation.

The PTI government agreed to implement broad economic reforms. However, it could not deliver on promises to reform tax collection and increase exports, partly due to the continued influence wielded by powerful rent-seeking elites. The government was able to mount a reasonably effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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