IMF unfair to Pakistan which is already under storm of issues, Bilawal

Pakistan-China economic relationship good; Pakistan's claimed influence on Taliban always overblown, says Foreign Minister

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has declared that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is not being fair to Pakistan, adding that the country is under a “perfect storm” of issues.

Cash-strapped Pakistan must act quickly to execute the necessary steps to negotiate a deal with the Fund. The conclusion of the ninth review of a $7 billion loan program, which has been postponed since late last year, must be agreed upon with the IMF in order to release the $1.2 billion that will be disbursed as well as inflows from friendly nations.

The effects of the disastrous flooding last year, an economic crisis, and terrorism that was “once again raising its ugly head” were all mentioned by Bilawal in a lengthy interview with the Associated Press on Friday. The minister criticized the IMF harshly, according to the article.

Bilawal said that the PPP was in favor of increasing revenue collection and thought that the wealthy should pay more, but he also noted that Pakistan had failed to implement structural tax reform “over the previous 23 IMF programs that we have been a part of.”

Is it the time to criticize our tax laws and tax collecting practices while we are dealing with a climate disaster of this magnitude? Bilawal enquired.

In addition to dealing with 100,000 additional refugees as a result of the West’s departure from Afghanistan and “a constant escalation of terrorist operations within our nation,” he said that the IMF was not being fair to Pakistan.

He continued by saying that the IMF was prolonging the negotiations at a time when the nation needed money to aid the “poorest of the poor”. And they’re being informed that the IMF program won’t end until their tax reform is finished.

He said that Pakistan managed to survive despite the Covid-19 epidemic, the Taliban’s occupation of Afghanistan, inflation and supply chain interruptions. Then, he said, the nation was ravaged by last year’s floods, which he described as the “largest, most horrific climatic calamity that we’ve ever experienced.”

He added that Pakistan and China had a “very good economic relationship” that was “also under the limelight as a result of geopolitical circumstances”. We are on a good trajectory, Bilawal stated in reference to Pakistan and US relations.

He cited discussions on trade, technology, health, and the environment. Officials from Pakistan also recently convened to discuss counterterrorism, he noted. Bilawal allegedly stated that Pakistan’s “claimed influence on the Taliban has always been overblown,” according to the magazine.

Nonetheless, he said that Pakistan had consistently emphasized the need for dialogue with the Taliban over terrorism and other matters, including the rights of women to employment and education. Pakistan, he added, would want to see the Taliban take action against all terrorist organizations, but there are concerns about their ability to do so.