The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has refuted allegations that it imposed any conditions on the revival of a loan program that had been suspended for several months despite ongoing discussions between the two parties.
Pakistan has been in discussions with the IMF since early February to negotiate the terms of the deal, which includes the adoption of policies aimed at addressing its fiscal deficit ahead of the annual budget in June. The funds are part of a $6.5 billion bailout package that the IMF approved in 2019, and which experts believe is critical for Pakistan to avoid defaulting on its external debt obligations.
The delay in reaching a staff-level agreement with the IMF had prompted veteran politicians, Senator Raza Rabbani and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, to express concerns about whether the delay was due to the country’s strategic assets, including its nuclear and missile programs. They have called on the government to clarify this issue.
In response, IMF resident representative in Islamabad, Esther Perez Ruiz, released a statement on Sunday denying any involvement in Pakistan’s nuclear program, stating that there was “absolutely no truth” to the rumors that program discussions with the authorities may have covered the issue.
Ruiz further clarified that the discussions had focused exclusively on economic policies aimed at resolving Pakistan’s economic and balance of payments problems, in line with the Fund’s mandate for promoting macroeconomic and financial stability.