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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said it looks forward “to working with the new government” of Pakistan, refraining from commenting on former prime minister Imran Khan’s intent to write a letter to the lender over alleged rigging in the elections.

In a press briefing on Friday, Julie Kozack, the IMF’s Director of Strategic Communications, stated: “On January 11, the IMF Executive Board approved the first review of the Stand-By Arrangement (SBA), with Pakistan that brought total disbursements under the SBA to $1.9 billion.

“The SBA is supporting the authority’s efforts to stabilize the economy and to, of course, with a strong focus on protecting the most vulnerable.

“During the period of the caretaker government, the authorities have maintained economic stability.

“This has been done through strict adherence to fiscal targets while also protecting the social safety net. It has been done by maintaining a tight monetary policy stance to control inflation and to continue to build up foreign exchange reserves.

“We look forward to working with the new government on policies to ensure macroeconomic stability and prosperity for all of Pakistan’s citizens. And I am going to leave it at that,” she said.

IMF delves into reasons behind ‘shorter’ programme with Pakistan

Pakistan averted default last summer thanks to a short-term IMF bailout, but the programme expires next month and a new government will have to negotiate a long-term arrangement to keep the $350-billion economy stable.

On Thursday, Ali Zafar, Imran Khan’s lawyer, had told reporters that the former prime minister – in jail over several cases – will write to the IMF urging it to call for an independent audit of the country’s controversial February 8 national elections before it continues talks with Islamabad.

Commenting on Imran Khan’s letter, Kozack said, “I’m not going to comment on ongoing political developments. So, I don’t have anything else to add to what I just said.”

Earlier, Bloomberg News, citing a Pakistani official, reported on Thursday that Pakistan plans to seek a new loan of at least $6 billion from the Fund to help the incoming government repay billions in debt due this year.

The country will seek to negotiate an Extended Fund Facility with the IMF, the report said, adding that the talks with the global lender were expected to start in March or April.

PTI tones down stance on approaching IMF, says Pakistan should continue to engage lender

Ahead of the bailout, the South Asian nation had to undertake a slew of measures demanded by the IMF, including revising its budget, a hike in its benchmark interest rate, and increases in electricity and natural gas prices.

Pakistan’s vulnerable external position means that securing financing from multilateral and bilateral partners will be one of the most urgent issues facing the next government, ratings agency Fitch said on Monday.

Comments

200 characters
Ali K Feb 23, 2024 11:54am
Approach international court of justice.
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Maqbool Feb 23, 2024 01:00pm
Pakistan will need $10 billion from IMF not $6 billion. Repayments by Nov 2024 alone are said to be $20b. But what was all this money spent on ??? Accountability: who look it ? Where did it go ?
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Ramlah Seraj Feb 23, 2024 02:52pm
Of course, why would IMF care about what is happening in Pakistan. They want thieves to rule us so they can squeeze the most out of the middle class.
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Khurshid Alam Feb 23, 2024 03:46pm
Let the IMF gave the money to the crooks. We the people of Pakistan will ask not to repay a single $. Financial crisis my foot. Put the Nuclear weapons on sale. Who ever needs we will give.
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Pakistani1 Feb 23, 2024 05:14pm
Is Imran Khan a well wisher of Pakistan? I hope sane minds in PTI prevail and d not take actions to hurt Pakistan economically!
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Mustafa Feb 23, 2024 05:27pm
He lost his mind .. stupidity at maximum...
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Hello Feb 23, 2024 07:48pm
@Maqbool , money was spent on loan interest
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Muhammad Sohail Deshi Feb 23, 2024 11:03pm
New collation government should think seriously for the economy and people of Pakistan who are hurting due to inflation. We think positive and pray to Allah to make our good country for the people.
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Usman Feb 24, 2024 12:26am
Why do we need enemy when we have pti.
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