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IMF dismisses rumors of tying nuclear program with Pakistan’s economic aid

IMF greenlights dividend plug-in back scheme to slash gas sector's revolving debt
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March 19, 2023 (MLN): The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has refuted speculations that any conditions were attached to Pakistan’s missile or nuclear program as part of the 9th review of the IMF-supported program.

Ms. Esther Perez Luiz, the IMF resident representative, clarified that discussions with the Pakistani authorities have exclusively focused on economic policies to address the country’s economic and balance of payments issues.

The statement came in response to the query of a journalist pertaining to the rumors circulating in the media that the IMF may have tied conditions related to Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program to its latest round of financial assistance.

Ms. Luiz categorically denied these speculations, stating that there was “absolutely no truth” to any such insinuations.

The IMF has been supporting Pakistan’s economic reforms and stabilization efforts through multiple programs over the years. However, the focus of these programs has always been on promoting macroeconomic and financial stability, and the organization has not been involved in any decision-making processes related to Pakistan’s nuclear program.

The clarification from the IMF is likely to put an end to the controversy and speculation around the issue. It also highlights the organization’s commitment to its mandate of promoting economic stability and growth in member countries without interfering in their political or military affairs.

In a bid to allay concerns about the country’s nuclear program, Federal Minister of Finance and Revenue Senator Ishaq Dar on Thursday assured Parliament that the government will not compromise on its nuclear and missile program, despite facing tough economic conditions and hurdles to secure a loan from the IMF.

Pakistan’s economy is in dire straits, and the country is awaiting a much-needed $1.1 billion tranche of funding from the fund.

The IMF has been pushing Pakistan to implement economic reforms and tighten its fiscal policies in exchange for the loan, but this has proved to be a difficult task for the government.

Speculation had been rife that Pakistan may be forced to compromise on its nuclear program in exchange for financial assistance from the US, Europe, and international lending agencies to shore up its tottering economy.

However, Ishaq Dar dismissed these “speculations” and assured the international community that it would not bow down to any external pressure.

The statement also noted that Pakistan has made significant strides in ensuring the safety and security of its nuclear assets and that the country has a robust command and control system in place to prevent any unauthorized access or use of its nuclear arsenal.

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Posted on: 2023-03-19T18:11:36+05:00