Islamabad : Pakistan’s Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar, responded to concerns raised by Senator Raza Rabbani during a Senate session on Thursday over the stalled International Monetary Fund (IMF) deal, assuring that nobody in Pakistan would compromise on the country’s nuclear and missile assets.
Transparency and fiscal discipline
The finance minister stressed the need for transparency and fiscal discipline and claimed that nobody had the right to dictate what range of missiles or nuclear weapons Pakistan should have.
Criticism of the PTI-led administration
Dar also criticized the PTI-led administration for succumbing to IMF demands, including the autonomy of the State Bank of Pakistan. He blamed the delay in completing the ongoing IMF agreement on the commitments made by some friendly countries to bilaterally support Pakistan, which the IMF is now asking to be materialized.
Concerns over IMF programme delay
Senator Rabbani expressed concern that the IMF programme was being delayed to force the government into making moves against state interests, suggesting there might be an international agenda at play aiming to seize Pakistan’s strategic assets.
Completion of the IMF agreement
The finance minister said the delay in completing the IMF agreement was not on the incumbent government’s part and claimed that they had been involved in extensive engagements with the IMF, which were unusual, lengthy, and demanding. He said that some friendly countries made commitments to bilaterally support Pakistan, and the IMF is now asking that they should materialize those commitments.
IMF funding is crucial
The IMF funding is crucial for Pakistan as it faces a balance of payment crisis, and the SBP-held foreign exchange reserves have fallen to nearly a month’s import cover.