Islamabad: Pakistan State Minister for Finance and Revenue Aisha Ghaus Pasha on Wednesday slammed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for “intervening” in Pakistan’s internal matters, local media reported.
“Pakistan’s conduct is in line with the law,” the state minister said, 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”.
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, the state minister said that the delay is neither good for Pakistan nor the Fund.
Dr 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, Geo News reported.
On May 27, the Prime Minister contacted Georgieva, requesting her to help Pakistan revive the stalled $6.5 billion facility.
The Prime Minister – according to the sources – requested her to intervene in order to complete the pending ninth review – which would unlock $1.1 billion in financing for the cash-strapped nation, Geo News reported.
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 – 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.”