‘Pray for success of Pakistan-IMF talks,’ PM Shehbaz tells reporters in London

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif meets International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva on September 21, 2022. – File Photo by PM’s Office

LONDON – Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has asked people to pray for the success of Pakistan’s talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for revival of the stalled loan programme.

Speaking to the media outside the Avenfield Apartments, London residence of his elder brother Nawaz Sharif, three-time former prime minister of Pakistan who is currently living in self-imposed exile in the British capital, Shehbaz Sharif said he had a very “frank discussion” with the IMF managing director in Paris. He said he informed the IMF managing director that Pakistan had fulfilled all the terms and conditions and now the IMF board should approve the loan programme.

Shehbaz Sharif said the IMF managing director told him that IMF and Pakistani teams should sit together to sort out the remaining issues amicably. He said that talks between the IMF team and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar’s team were going on and he was in touch with Dar on the IMF talks.

Shehbaz Sharif arrived in London over the weekend after his trip to Paris, but it was not clear whether Nawaz Sharif’s travel plans permitted a meeting between the two.

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The Sharif brothers last met in early May this year when the prime minister was in London to attend the coronation of King Charles. A lot has transpired between then and now, especially the May 9 protests and the ensuing crackdown on the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

A meeting between Shehbaz and Nawaz, who is the main decision maker of the party, has been overdue and decisions about the party’s future line of action would be taken at this meeting.

Economic crisis in Pakistan and the contributing factors

Pakistan is currently going through an acute economic crisis and making frantic efforts for revival of the stalled IMF loan programme. However, given the prevailing political turmoil in the South Asian country and the worst economic mismanagement by Pakistan’s policy makers, the IMF has set very tough terms and conditions for the Pakistani government for revival of the loan programme.

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