In a strong rebuke to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), State Minister for Finance and Revenue Aisha Ghaus Pasha criticised the international lender for what she called “intervening” in Pakistan’s internal affairs.

Speaking on Wednesday, the state minister asserted that Pakistan’s actions were within the boundaries of the law, dismissing the statement made by IMF Mission Chief for Pakistan, Nathan Porter, as “extraordinary.”

While the IMF typically refrains from commenting on domestic politics, Porter had expressed the hope that Pakistan would find a peaceful way forward in line with the Constitution and the rule of law. The state minister expressed her dissatisfaction with the IMF’s involvement in Pakistan’s political situation, emphasising that the delay in reaching a staff-level agreement was detrimental to both Pakistan and the Fund.


Dr Pasha confirmed reports that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had reached out to IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva. In their conversation, the prime minister assured the IMF chief that Pakistan would fulfill all its obligations.

On May 27, Prime Minister Shehbaz had contacted Georgieva, requesting her assistance in revitalising the stalled $6.5 billion facility. It is believed that the prime minister urged her intervention to facilitate the completion of the pending ninth review, which would unlock $1.1 billion in financing for the cash-strapped nation.

Negotiations between the coalition government and the IMF have been ongoing since November to revive Pakistan’s bailout program, with the financing gap being a major hurdle. Approximately $2.7 billion remains to be disbursed from the $6.5 billion program, which is set to expire next month.

Responding to a question regarding Pakistan’s contingency plan if it fails to convince the IMF before the program’s expiry on June 30, the state minister stated that while there is always a “Plan B,” the Ministry of Finance’s priority is to revive the IMF program.

With the federal budget announcement scheduled for June 9, both sides are hopeful of reaching a staff-level agreement before then. The successful conclusion of the agreement would provide a much-needed boost to Pakistan’s economy and help address its financial challenges.

As the negotiations continue, the Pakistani government remains committed to meeting its obligations and finding a way forward to revive the IMF program, while asserting its sovereignty and independence in internal affairs.