PM Shahbaz says that IMF does not trust the government of Pakistan

Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Thursday said that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) does not trust Pakistan as the previous government backed out of its agreement with the institution.

Addressing a meeting of his party’s senators in Islamabad, the prime minister said the PTI-led government should not have agreed on the terms of the fund, if there were any issues with it, once an agreement was signed. After leaving, it should have been implemented.

“The IMF was adamant on us fulfilling all the terms of the agreement […] It was a difficult phase and I want to say that more difficulties are yet to come.”

The premier said the terms of the agreement had been agreed with the IMF, with the hope that matters would be resolved in the next few days. However, he warned that once the deal is signed, the situation will not improve overnight.

“Will prosperity come overnight after a deal is signed? Not at all […] We have to strengthen our financial position.”

He said that it is the responsibility of the government, cabinet and state institutions to take the country towards prosperity.

“We have to rise above personal interests and work hard to make decisions that will propel us to prosperity.”

PM Shahbaz also said that it caused great pain to the PML-N-led coalition government to hike petrol prices, but added that its priorities were states first, then politics.

He said that the government has given a relief package in which the common man will get Rs 2,000 every month. “More measures will be taken to provide relief.”

Talking about the budget for the new financial year, PM Shahbaz said that a “real tax” is being levied on the net income of rich citizens.

Reiterating his message of working together for the betterment of the country, the Prime Minister said that nations are made up of hard work and blood, sweat and tears.

“That is the approach we have to adopt and I am ready to work together with our allies and institutions to make this country prosperous.”

More to follow.