IMF ready to work with new Pakistani govt despite Imran Khan’s letter

ISLAMABAD – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Friday its mission would arrive in Pakistan after formation of new cabinet.–Photo courtesy X

ISLAMABAD – Responding to jailed former prime minister Imran Khan’s letter urging the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to link the approval of the new bailout package for Pakistan to a transparent audit of the February 8 general election, the global lender said it had a “narrow mandate on economic issues” as an international institution.

An IMF spokesperson confirmed on Friday that IMF had received a letter from a PTI official sent on Khan’s behalf on February 28 on the Fund’s engagement with Pakistan under the loan programme.

The spokesperson said in a statement, “The IMF, as an international institution with a narrow mandate on economic issues, does not comment on domestic political developments. However, given the importance of the institutional environment for economic stability and growth, we do encourage the fair and peaceful resolution of all electoral disputes.”

The IMF spokesperson said that IMF’s engagement with Pakistan was focused on helping the government implement strong policies to deepen financial stability, address the longstanding economic and underlying balance of payments challenges, and restore sustained and inclusive growth for the benefit of all Pakistani citizens.

“This includes stronger public finances, through high-quality revenue measures to broaden the tax base while scaling up the support for the most vulnerable, restoring energy sector viability, improving institutional governance and anti-corruption effectiveness, SOE reform, building climate resilience, and creating a level playing field for private businesses to promote investment and job creation,” the spokesperson added.

The IMF representative said that keeping the above objectives in mind, the lender looks forward to engaging with the new Pakistani government to complete the second review under the ongoing Stand by Arrangement and support the development of a new medium-term economic programme if the government requests it.

The response to the letter by an IMF spokesperson comes hours after the global lender’s Communications Department Director Julie Kozack said during a press briefing in Washington that the Fund was set to dispatch its mission to Pakistan after formation of the new cabinet.

Commenting on the IMF mission’s arrival in Pakistan, Kozack said: “The IMF stands ready to hold a mission for the second review of the Stand-by shortly after a new cabinet is formed.”

Last week, the PTI asked the IMF to factor in the country’s political stability in any further bailout talks.

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