HomeBusinessEconomyPakistan's nuclear program is unrelated to loan negotiations: IMF

Pakistan’s nuclear program is unrelated to loan negotiations: IMF

Notwithstanding ongoing negotiations between the two sides, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has denied claims that it put any restrictions on the restart of a loan program that had been paused for a while.

Since early February, Pakistan and the IMF have been negotiating the parameters of the agreement, which include the adoption of measures to alleviate its fiscal deficit before the annual budget in June. The money is a part of a $6.5 billion bailout package that the IMF approved in 2019 and that analysts say is essential for Pakistan to receive in order to prevent it from defaulting on its obligations under its external debt.

Veteran lawmakers Senator Raza Rabbani and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi expressed concern about whether the country’s strategic assets, like as its nuclear and missile projects, were to blame for the delay in achieving a staff-level deal with the IMF. They have requested clarification on this matter from the government.

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In response, Esther Perez Ruiz, the IMF’s resident representative in Islamabad, issued a statement on Sunday rejecting any involvement in Pakistan’s nuclear program and claiming there was “absolutely no reality” to the reports that program discussions with the government may have touched on the subject.

Ruiz further highlighted that, in keeping with the Fund’s mandate to promote macroeconomic and financial stability, the conversations had been only on economic solutions intended to address Pakistan’s economic and balance of payments issues.



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