The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has rejected Finance Minister Ishaq Dar’s claims that it linked to the restart of a loan program with Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and missile program.
In answer to Senator Raza Rabbani’s inquiries concerning the delay in signing the deal with the IMF, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said that the nation’s nuclear and missile program would not be compromised. The finance minister made the statement in the Senate.
Senator Raza Rabbani and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had questioned whether the country’s strategic assets, like its nuclear and missile projects, were to blame for the Fund’s delay in approving the staff-level agreement.
They have demanded that the government be transparent regarding this issue.
In a statement released on Sunday, IMF resident representative in Islamabad Esther Perez Ruiz denied reports that the External Financing Facility (EFF) contains constraints.
Read: Dar condemns IMF approach, reiterates no compromise on nuclear, missile program
The official denied unequivocally recent claims that program negotiations with authorities for the ninth review of the IMF-supported program may have addressed Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program. “There is also no suggestion that any Pakistani government’s choice regarding its nuclear program was influenced by the past or present IMF-supported program,” the official continued.
Under the Fund’s mandate to promote macroeconomic and financial stability, the conversations have focused only on economic solutions to solve Pakistan’s challenges with its economy and balance of payments, according to the IMF director.
Pakistan has hosted an IMF mission since early February to negotiate the parameters of the agreement, including adopting steps to control Pakistan’s fiscal deficit before the annual budget is due around June.
Experts believe the funds, part of a $6.85 billion bailout package approved by the IMF in 2019, are necessary for Pakistan to avoid defaulting on its foreign debt obligations.