Remarks on Pak N-program quoted out of context: Dar

The Nation  |  Mar 21, 2023

 Remarks on Pak N-program quoted out of context: Dar
ISLAMABAD    -    Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Mon­day clarified that his statement re­garding Pakistan’s Nuclear Pro­gram is being quoted out of context and neither International Monetary Fund (IMF) nor any other country has attached any conditionality with regard to the nuclear capability.

“My statement on the floor of the Senate of Pakistan on 16th March, 2023, in response to a query regard­ing reasons for delay in IMF Pro­gram, is being quoted out of context,” said the minister in a statement yes­terday. “My comments with regards to Pakistan’s Nuclear Program was in response to a colleague Senator’s specific question, wherein, I empha­sized that Pakistan has sovereign right to develop its nuclear program, as it best suits our national inter­ests, without any external dictation, which should be linked with the on­going negotiations with the IMF”.

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“The delay in IMF staff level agree­ment is purely due to technical rea­sons, for which we are continuous­ly engaged with the IMF in order to conclude it at the earliest”.

Last week, the finance minister, in his address to the Senate, had said that Pakistan would not compro­mise on its nuclear programme for reviving the stalled IMF loan facility.

Meanwhile, in a statement re­leased to the media, IMF resident representative in Islamabad Esther Perez Ruiz denied attaching any strings to the External Fund Facili­ty (EFF).

“Regarding the recent specula­tion that programme discussions with the authorities for the ninth re­view under the IMF-supported pro­gramme may have covered Paki­stan’s nuclear weapons programme, I want to be categorical that there is absolutely no truth to this or any insinuated link between the past or current IMF supported programme and decision by any Pakistani gov­ernment over its nuclear pro­gramme,” the official said.

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The IMF official further said that the discussions have exclusively fo­cused on economic policies to solve Pakistan’s economic and balance of payments problems, in line with the Fund’s mandate for promoting mac­roeconomic and financial stability.

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