The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has rubbished claims that the global lender had attached any strings to the revival of a loan programme for Pakistan stalled for months despite the two sides engaged in talks for weeks. IMF resident representative in Islamabad Esther Perez Ruiz denied attaching any strings to the External Fund Facility (EFF), Geo News reported.
“Regarding recent speculation that programme discussions with the authorities for the ninth review under the IMF supported programme may have covered Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programme, I want to be categoric that there is absolutely no truth to this or any insinuated link between the past or current IMF supported programme and decision by any Pakistani government over its nuclear programme,” the official said.
She further said that the discussions have exclusively focused on economic policies to solve Pakistan’s economic and balance of payments problems, in line with the Fund’s mandate for promoting macroeconomic and financial stability. On March 16, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar promised that there would be no compromise on the country’s nuclear and missile programme.
He made the statement in the Senate in response to Senator Raza Rabbani’s questions about the delay in signing the agreement with the IMF.
Rabbani regretted that the upper House of the Parliament had “neither before nor today been taken into confidence on what are the conditionalities of the IMF” for extending the loan facility to Pakistan, Geo News reported.