Home » The IMF denies linking the bailout to compromising Pakistan’s nuclear capabilities. 

The IMF denies linking the bailout to compromising Pakistan’s nuclear capabilities. 

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has denied claims that the multilateral lender has attached nuclear-related conditions to restart a bailout that has been stalled for months despite negotiations. weeks between the two sides.

The lender has yet to approve a $1.1 billion disbursement originally scheduled to be disbursed last November, leaving Pakistan with only enough foreign exchange reserves to cover a month’s worth of imports.

Pakistan has hosted an IMF delegation since early February to negotiate the terms of the deal, including the adoption of policy measures to manage the fiscal deficit before the annual budget is due in February. around June.

The money is part of a $6.5 billion bailout that the IMF approved in 2019, which analysts say is essential if Pakistan is to avoid defaulting on its foreign debt obligations. mine.

Veteran politicians Senator Raza Rabbani and former Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi worried whether the delay in the staff-level agreement with the Fund had anything to do with the strategic assets of the countries, including nuclear and missile programs or not. They asked the government to clarify the matter.

In a statement to the media on Sunday, the IMF Resident Representative in Islamabad Esther Perez Ruiz denied attaching any conditions to the External Funding Fund (EFF).

“Regarding recent speculation that discussions with the authorities about the ninth assessment under the IMF-supported program could cover Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program, I would like to affirm that the There is absolutely no truth in it or any hint of any connection between the past or the present.The IMF has supported this program and the decision of any Pakistani government regarding its nuclear program. ,” the official said.

The head of the IMF added that the discussions focused solely on economic policies aimed at addressing Pakistan’s economic and balance of payments problems, in line with the Fund’s mission to promote financial stability. policy and macroeconomics. 

No compromise on nuclear and missile programs”

On Thursday, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar promised not to compromise on the country’s nuclear and missile programs.

The Minister of Finance made this statement in the Senate in response to a question from Senator Raza Rabbani about the delay in signing the agreement with the IMF.

Rabbani regrets that the Senate of the National Assembly “was not aware either before or now of the conditions of the IMF” to expand the lending facility to Pakistan.

He called the delay “completely extraordinary, extraordinary” saying:
“The question is whether the delay is due to some kind of pressure on Pakistan’s nuclear [program].”

In response, Ishaq Dar assured the special session that there would be no compromise on the country’s nuclear and missile programs.

“Let me assure you that no one will compromise Pakistan’s nuclear or missile program…no way,” he added. The minister promised that when the staffing agreement and the Expanded Fund program (EFFP) are finalized, they will be posted on the finance department’s website.

He clarified that no one has the right to tell Pakistan about the range of its missiles and what kind of nuclear weapons it might possess.

“We have to have our own deterrent because we represent the people of Pakistan and we have to protect our national interests,” he said. 

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