Amid concerns that Pakistan may have to resort to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout package, it has been learned that IMF has not yet endorsed the country’s nominee for the post of senior adviser to the IMF executive director.
According to sources, Jafar Mojarrad, the Board Executive Director at IMF, has so far withheld the nomination of Zafar Hasan, who is currently serving as the additional secretary external finance in the Ministry of Finance.
Sources have cited the poor experience of the IMF with Pakistan’s former senior advisors, and their preference towards someone more experienced as the job entails assisting the IMF executive director who represents seven countries at the IMF Executive Board.
Shahid Mehmood, an officer of the Pakistan Administrative Group (PAS) and the former finance secretary, was the last representative of Pakistan at the IMF.
The post of senior advisor has however been vacant for the last one and a half year.
The delay comes at a time when Pakistan is considering its options to raise funds for meeting its external accounts needs and the likelihood that it may have to approach IMF for a bailout package.
It is, however, worth mentioning that this delay comes at a time when the US, under President Donald Trump, has reduced its financial backing to Pakistan and increased its pressure with regard to the funding from IMF on concerns that the money could be used to pay back Chinese lenders to Pakistan.