Statement on Senate floor regarding IMF programme being quoted out of context: Ishaq Dar
- Says remarks that Pakistan has sovereign right to develop its nuclear programme should not be linked with ongoing negotiations with IMF
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Monday looked to clarify that his comments regarding Pakistan’s nuclear programme last week were “being quoted out of context” and they should not be linked with ongoing negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
In a statement issued by the Finance Division on Monday, Dar said that his remark “with regards to Pakistan’s Nuclear Program was in response to a colleague senator’s specific question, wherein, I emphasised that Pakistan has sovereign right to develop its nuclear programme, as it best suits our national interests, without any external dictation, which, by no means should in any way whatsoever be linked with the ongoing negotiations with the IMF”.
“My statement on the floor of the Senate of Pakistan on March 16, 2023, in response to a query regarding reasons for delay in IMF programme, is being quoted out of context.
“It is clarified that neither IMF nor any other country has attached any conditionality or made any demand from Pakistan with regard to its nuclear capability and the delay in IMF staff level agreement is purely due to technical reasons, for which we are continuously engaged with the IMF in order to conclude it at the earliest, the finance minister said.
On March 16, Senator Raza Rabbani had asked Dar if the delay in the IMF programme was due to “some sort of pressure exerted on Pakistan’s nuclear or is it that there is some pressure on the strategic relationship between us and China? Or is it that some imperial power in the new context of the world order want a presence in the region?”
Dar responded that there will be “no compromise” on the country’s nuclear and missile programmes.
“Let me assure you that … nobody is going to compromise anything on the nuclear or the missile program of Pakistan, no way!” he said.
“We are responsible citizens of Pakistan, we are here to protect and guard our national interest.”
“Nobody has any right to tell Pakistan what range of missiles it can have, and what nuclear weapons it can have. We have to have our own deterrence,” he added.
His statement was seen by some followers as being linked with the IMF programme that has seen an incessant delay.
However, many also believed the remarks were to be seen in isolation, and not linked with ongoing talks with the IMF.