Saturday Jan 28, 2023
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif-led government is currently in a fix as the revival of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) loan programme is necessary for economic stability while on the other hand, “harsh conditions” set by the lender could harm the ruling alliance.
When the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) took over in April 2022 after the ouster of then-prime minister Imran Khan, the country was in a financial mess due to the suspension of the loan facility and in order to restore it, the government took certain difficult steps.
The economic team under the supervision of then finance minister Miftah Ismail, after hectic efforts, struck a deal with the IMF in late August but the measures agreed upon with the lender made things difficult for the coalition government.
There seemed to be an understanding within the government that these measures were necessary, however, Ishaq Dar — who was in London at that time — disagreed with Miftah's policies and ultimately was able to convince the party leadership that he can steer the country out of the crisis without IMF.
Dar, after he was given the portfolio of finance minister in September, claimed that he “knows how to deal with IMF” and tried to unlock other sources of financial assistance.
But all his efforts proved futile and the government agreed to accept all the IMF demands, triggering a debate in the country on Dar’s policies to fix the economy.
Miftah also said that had these decisions been taken earlier, Pakistan would be in a better position than it is now.
The same question was asked by Mohammad Zubair, the spokesperson of Maryam Nawaz.
Here’s what he said about Dar’s performance and what the PML-N is thinking: