Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar, has cancelled his scheduled trip to the United States next week to meet with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. The reason cited for the pull-out is the “domestic state of affairs” in the country, as the deepening political uncertainty has made it difficult for Dar to attend the World Bank-IMF spring meetings that were supposed to take place in Washington from April 10 to 16.

Dar’s original plan was to address concerns about the government’s continuity, future economic plans, and bridging the trust deficit with multilateral lenders. However, with his withdrawal, the Minister of Economic Affairs, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, will also not travel to the United States. The government will now be represented by Finance Secretary Hamed Yaqoob Sheikh and Economic Affairs Secretary Kazim Niaz at the WB-IMF spring meetings.

The decision by the finance minister to withdraw may also result in the cancellation of meetings with his Saudi Arabian counterpart and the UK state minister for development. Dar was supposed to begin his trip on Monday with a meeting with Nathan Porter, the IMF’s Mission Chief in Pakistan, which was critical as Pakistan and the IMF were no longer actively negotiating following the government’s decision to announce petrol subsidies.


Besides the IMF and WB, Dar was scheduled to meet with representatives from the three international credit rating agencies that had downgraded Pakistan. The finance ministry had also scheduled meetings with foreign commercial banks to persuade them to release loans.

However, the Pakistan delegation may still get to meet with IMF’s deputy managing director Antoinette Sayeh, who follows Pakistan closely. It is uncertain whether a meeting with Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva would take place or not. Some reports have cited diplomatic protocol issues that prevent low-ranking dignitaries from meeting presidents/directors/leaders of various multilateral institutions and finance ministers from various countries.