Pakistan slams IMF for ‘intervening’ in country’s internal matters

Pakistan Shehbaz Sharif IMF International Monetary Fund

Pakistan’s State Minister for Finance and Revenue Aisha Ghaus Pasha on Wednesday slammed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for “intervening” in Pakistan’s internal matters, Geo News reported.

The state minister said: “Pakistan’s conduct is in line with the law”, terming IMF Mission Chief for Pakistan Nathan Porter’s statement regarding the political situation in Pakistan “extraordinary”.

While the IMF does not comment on domestic politics, Porter had said that the Fund hopes “a peaceful way forward is found in line with the Constitution and the rule of law.”

The State Minister while hoping that both sides will reach a staff-level agreement before the announcement of the federal budget, expected to be unveiled on June 9, for the fiscal year 2023-24, said that the delay is neither good for Pakistan nor the Fund.

Pasha confirmed reports that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif contacted IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, adding that the premier assured the fund’s chief that Pakistan will meet all its obligations.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday contacted Georgieva, requesting her to help Pakistan revive the stalled USD 6.5 billion facility.

PM Shehbaz, according to the sources, requested her to intervene in order to complete the pending ninth review, which would unlock USD 1.1 billion in financing for the cash-strapped nation.

The coalition government has been negotiating with the Washington-based lender to revive its bailout programme since November, with the financing gap among the biggest roadblocks. There’s about USD 2.7 billion left to disburse from the USD 6.5 billion programme that’s scheduled to expire next month, according to Geo News.

The minister, in response to a question regarding Pakistan’s plan of action in case it fails to convince the fund before the expiry of the programme, on June 30, said: “The Ministry of Finance is not sitting with its eyes closed, there is always a Plan B but our priority is to revive the IMF programme.”

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