- IMF says it is closely monitoring the situation in the country: Sources.
- “A short-term bailout package is likely to ensure a smooth transition of power.”
- The IMF is hopeful that the interim arrangement will ensure that the country’s general elections are held on time.
Islamabad: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan has sought a guarantee from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that general elections in Pakistan will be held as per schedule, sources close to the development said. geo news on Saturday.
Seeking reassurance and support for key objectives and policies under the recently announced $3 billion bailout programme, an IMF delegation met PTI chief in Lahore on Friday – a review and possibly meeting of the global lender’s executive board Support Standby Arrangement (SBA) for Pakistan a few days before the
The IMF’s local representative, Esther Perez Ruiz, said in a statement that the meetings with political parties were “to seek assurances of their support for key objectives and policies under a new IMF-backed program ahead of the upcoming national elections”.
However, sources close to the meeting of the IMF delegation with the PTI chief on Saturday revealed that the PTI chief asked the global lender to ensure that the general elections scheduled for October this year are held on time.
“What can you guarantee [IMF] Please tell that the elections in the country will be held on time,” the PTI chief was quoted as saying to the crowd.
According to insiders, IMF representatives responded by saying that the Washington-based lender closely monitors the country’s situation but “we cannot interfere too much in internal political matters”.
Sources said the IMF delegation further said that the short-term bailout package has been designed in such a way that the regime change is expected to happen on time.
Insiders said IMF officials also expressed hope that the interim arrangement would hold general elections in the country within the constitutionally stipulated time period.
After the meeting, former ruling party PTI welcomed the IMF’s agreement with Pakistan to maintain macroeconomic stability through external financing and sound policies ahead of national elections later this year and until a new government is formed. Hammad Azhar said.
He said the meeting was attended by IMF country chief Nathan Porter, who joined virtually from Washington, and Resident Representative Esther Perez Luis.
Giving details, the former finance minister said the discussions revolved around the staff-level agreement the IMF had reached with the government for a 9-month $3 billion SBA. “In this context, we support the overall objectives and key policies.”
The PTI leader also said that he wanted to stress the importance of programs to protect the low-income segment of the population from high inflation.
The PTI considers political stability and the rule of law integral to Pakistan’s economic stability, Azhar said, adding that after free, fair and timely elections in accordance with the constitution, a new government guided by the people will initiate and engage in reforms. Long-term partnership with multilateral institutions to advance economic transformation, higher and more inclusive growth.
It is worth mentioning here that the IMF Executive Board will meet on July 12 to review the SBA for Pakistan.