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Pakistan

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

  • Remarks come after party had earlier stated that it would write letter over alleged 'election rigging' in the country
Published February 23, 2024

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) toned down its stance on approaching the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a day after its leader Barrister Ali Zafar said party founder Imran Khan would write a letter to the Washington-based lender over alleged election rigging in the country.

PTI on Friday said Pakistan should continue to engage with the IMF in order to ensure financial discipline, good governance and economic stability, which is critical for the prosperity of the people of Pakistan.

In a post on X, PTI quoted Barrister Ali Zafar – also a nominee for PTI chairmanship – as saying, “For PTI Pakistan will always be first and foremost.

“While we will continue to support all steps in this direction taken for the benefit of the country and in national interest, PTI will continue its struggle for democracy and raise its voice at all forums and expect the international community’s support.”

The party had come under criticism over its stance on approaching the IMF over alleged election rigging, with many perceiving the move as a step towards sabotaging the current Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) with the lender.

In its response to PTI’s statement on Thursday, the IMF said it looks forward “to working with the new government” of Pakistan, refraining to comment on the intended letter by Imran Khan.

In a press briefing on Friday, Julie Kozack, the IMF’s Director of Strategic Communications, stated: “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.

Commenting on Imran’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.”

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.

“The IMF, European Union, and other organisations have their charter that says these organisations will work in a country where there is good governance. For good governance, a country needs to have democracy that requires free and fair elections,” Ali Zafar had said.

“No organisation can give loan to a country where there is rigging in elections,” Ali Zafar added.

His remarks came under fire as Pakistan – currently enrolled in the SBA – is up for a final review of its bailout with many analysts also saying that another programme would be in the offing.

Bloomberg News, citing a Pakistani official, also 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.

PTI has been alleging election rigging after independent candidates, backed by the party, lost to PML-N candidates in some constituencies.

Comments

200 characters
Pakistani1 Feb 23, 2024 05:11pm
First the leaked audio of Shaukat Taren to sabotage the IMF program, now the to threat write to IMF. PTI has to decide, What is more important? Pakistan or PTI leadership? Should be PAKISTAN!
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Mustafa Feb 23, 2024 05:25pm
You don't need enemies when you have stupid friends
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Az_Iz Feb 23, 2024 06:33pm
@Pakistani1, agree 100%.
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Az_Iz Feb 23, 2024 06:35pm
IK prioritizes himself, above everything else.
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Mekal Faruki Feb 23, 2024 09:21pm
Imran Khan thinks the IMF runs the elections in Pakistan?
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Usman Feb 24, 2024 12:27am
Well thats pti.that has done 9th may what else can you expect from them.
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KhanRA Feb 24, 2024 02:46am
That was a quick U turn
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