PM Shehbaz praises COAS Munir for securing $3 billion from Saudi Arabia, UAE

In this undated photo, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is chairing a meeting.  - app/file
In this undated photo, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is chairing a meeting. – app/file
  • The PM says that the first installment from the IMF will be received this month.
  • All the national institutions were asked to make efforts to free the country from debt.
  • The Prime Minister called upon Sweden to act against the person who burnt the Holy Quran.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif praised Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir for his “key role” in securing $3 billion from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) during a cabinet meeting on Monday, which ultimately led to the security Contributed to International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout.

“Army chief General Asim Munir played a key role in bringing $2 billion from Saudi Arabia and $1 billion from the United Arab Emirates,” the prime minister told his cabinet in a televised meeting.

He briefed the cabinet about the nine-month standby agreement his government entered into with the Washington-based lender last week. He also thanked IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva for her role in the bailout package.

“The first tranche from the IMF will be received in July,” PM Shahbaz told the ministers. He said China would help Pakistan several months before the deal, as it has done in the past, if Beijing borrows more than $5 billion. Things would have been different if he had agreed to give.

“If the deal with the IMF had not been finalized, things would have been different,” he said.

Although the prime minister said the nine-month settlement was a “temporary respite” for the country, he said it was a moment of concern, not a matter of “pride”.

He also urged all the national institutions to make concerted efforts to rid the country of debt and take it on the path of progress.

He further said, “Living in their respective jurisdictions, the institutions should make a united effort to address the country’s economic problems, at least for the next 15 years.” He said that foresight, unity, hard work and sacrifice of the affluent people is needed to make the country debt free.

“If we choose this path, nothing can stop Pakistan from achieving progress,” he said.

“I pray this is the last IMF deal. But easier said than done,” he remarked and mentioned that state-owned enterprises like steel mills, PIAs and others were eating into around Rs 600 billion annually.

Prime Minister Shahbaz said that during the remaining 40-42 days of the government’s tenure, the cabinet members should strive to leave a policy framework that provides a roadmap and a vision for future development.

PM demands action from Sweden

The Prime Minister said that the entire Muslim Ummah, including the government and people of Pakistan, strongly condemned yet another incident of burning of a copy of the Holy Quran in Sweden.

“We demand immediate action against the culprit. Unfortunately, this is not the first time that a similar incident happened earlier as well,” he remarked.

He also called on the Swedish government to address Islamophobic and hateful narratives against the Muslim population in his country.

PM Shehbaz also appreciated the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for convening an immediate meeting on the issue and said that Pakistan supports their meeting and decision, with the hope that such Islamophobic incidents will not recur in future.

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