- The Prime Minister says that Pakistan has met the IMF’s targets for the next tranche.
- It is said that it would be unfair to deny the decline in inflation.
- It said that illegal foreigners can return to Pakistan with a valid visa.
LAHORE: Caretaker Prime Minister Anwar-ul-Haq Kakkar on Tuesday expressed hope that Pakistan will “successfully conclude” the upcoming review of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) next month.
An IMF mission led by Nathan Porter will visit Pakistan from November 2-16 to discuss the first review of the country’s existing $3 billion standby arrangement (SBA).
Pakistan is trying to navigate a difficult path to economic recovery under a caretaker government in the wake of an IMF loan program approved in July that helped prevent a sovereign debt default.
Under the programme, the country received $1.2 billion from the IMF as the first tranche in July.
“We have achieved the target and the revenue target has also been met. We are quite comfortable that our negotiations for the second tranche will be concluded very successfully,” the interim prime minister told reporters.
On inflation, the interim Prime Minister said that if someone says that there has been no decline in the inflation rate, it would be ‘inappropriate’. He said he has received reports of a decline in prices of essential commodities, which is due to the strengthening of the rupee against the dollar and decline in the prices of petroleum products.
The PM also asked reporters to calculate the impact of rupee appreciation against the dollar on circular debt. He also shared that tough actions against smuggling through Afghan transit trade have helped local industry as productivity is back on track.
The PM said that due to smuggling, local mills, which he cited as examples, were unable to compete with the smuggled goods and were forced to close down.
“All these indicators are trending positive,” Kakkar said.
Illegal foreigners can return with visa: PM
The Prime Minister also talked about the time limit given to illegal foreigners living in Pakistan and said that they are welcome to return with valid visas.
The caretaker Prime Minister said, “Citizens of any country can come to Pakistan with a visa.” He also reiterated that Pakistan is not deporting registered Afghan refugees back to their country.
“The illegal residents have been given time to go back. These people should go back and come legally,” Kakar said. He said that no country in the world allows illegal people to live in their country.
The Prime Minister also reiterated that Pakistan gave time to illegal foreigners to return to their country and did not force them to leave through their business or any other means.
“We have not banned them completely; They should go to their country and get a visa and then they can come,” Kakar said.
Provincial and federal authorities are set to expel illegal immigrants who have less than 24 hours left to leave Pakistan as the November 1 deadline for “aliens” approaches.
The Interior Ministry had earlier this month asked illegal immigrants to voluntarily leave Pakistan by October 31 (today) or face deportation.
The government has consistently said that the decision was not just focused on illegal Afghan nationals living inside the country, but also included all undocumented and illegal foreigners.
According to caretaker Prime Minister Anwar-ul-Haq Kakkar, Pakistan hosted more than four million Afghan refugees on its soil over the past 40 years under the Geneva Conventions, despite the fact that it was not a signatory to it.
A day earlier he had said that more than one million foreigners classified as illegal were living in Pakistan without legal and valid documents.
He said that from October 1 to 28, 4,672 families, comprising 67,604 people, returned to Afghanistan.