In Pakistan, an Islamabad sessions court hearing the Toshakhana case against PTI chief Imran Khan issued on Tuesday non-bailable arrest warrants for him over persistent absences. Judge Zafar Iqbal's order came on a day of political drama in Pakistan, as three other courts on Tuesday ruled Khan was immune from arrest on separate charges relating to allegations of terrorism, attempted murder against a rival politician, and graft. The PTI chairman appeared before the banking court, anti-terrorism court and the sessions court at the Judicial Complex in Islamabad. He, however, skipped the hearing related to Toshakhana gifts. Khan secured interim bail from the Islamabad High Court (IHC) in the attempted murder case. Khan has been leading protests for months now calling for early elections to oust the current government of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, who says polls will be held later this year when Parliament completes its five-year term.
Legal problems for Khan have continued to mount. In October, an elections tribunal disqualified Khan from holding public office on charges he sold state gifts and concealed assets as premier. He was stripped of his seat in the National Assembly, the lower house of Pakistan's Parliament.Khan has challenged his disqualification and denied wrongdoing. The standoff between Khan and Sharif's government has roiled the country as its economy faces severe problems and a growing currency crisis.
On Tuesday, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Pakistan's rating. The action is seen as a warning that Pakistan is more likely to default on its foreign debts.Moody’s assessment was driven by Pakistan’s increasingly fragile liquidity and external position that raises default risks to a level consistent with a Caa3 rating.However, in the current extremely fragile balance of payments situation, disbursements may not be secured in time to avoid a default. Moreover, beyond the life of the current IMF programme that ends in June 2023, there is very limited visibility on Pakistan's sources of financing for its sizeable external payments needs, Moody's said.
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