State Minister for Finance and Revenue Dr Aisha Ghaus Pasha on Wednesday censured the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over its “interference” in Pakistan’s internal matters, a day after the comments passed by a top official of the international lender.
She described terming IMF Mission Chief for Pakistan Nathan Porter’s statement — regarding the political situation in the country — “extraordinary”. Pakistan’s conduct was in line with the law, the state minister said.
However, Dr Pasha Dr Pasha confirmed that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif contacted IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and assured her that Pakistan would meet all the obligations.
When asked about Pakistan’s plan of action in case it fails to convince the fund before the expiry of the programme on June 30, she said the finance ministry was not sitting with its eyes closed.
“There is always a Plan B but out priority is to revive the IMF programme,” Dr Pasha said, adding that the delay in agreement was not in the interests of both Pakistan and the IMF.
On Tuesday, Porter had said, “We take note of recent political developments, and while we do not comment on domestic politics, we do hope that a peaceful way forward is found in line with the Constitution and the rule of law.”
He also said that they were engaging with Pakistan to pave the way for the international lender’s board meeting and talks would focus on the budget for next financial year.
Porter’s statement also had a long list of demands including restoration of foreign exchange proper market functioning, keeping in mind programme goals in preparation of the upcoming budget, and adequate financing.
He said broadly speaking, “overcoming the present economic and financial challenges would require sustained policy efforts and reforms for Pakistan to regain strong and inclusive private-led growth.”