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IMF ready to work with new Pakistani govt, says spox

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has indicated its readiness to collaborate with the new Pakistani government, brushing aside Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan’s call for an audit of election results before approving any further loans for Islamabad.

Speaking at a press briefing, IMF’s Director of Communications, Julie Kozack, stated that on January 11, the lender approved total disbursements amounting to $1.9 billion under the Standby Arrangement (SBA).

She noted that the programme aims to assist the government’s efforts in stabilizing the economy, with a particular emphasis on safeguarding the most vulnerable segments of society.

Kozack commended the interim administration, acknowledging that during the caretaker government’s tenure, economic stability was maintained. She highlighted the adherence to fiscal targets and the protection of the social safety net, along with the implementation of a tight monetary policy stance to manage inflation and bolster foreign exchange reserves.

The spokesperson expressed optimism about collaborating with the new government to formulate policies ensuring macroeconomic stability and fostering prosperity for all citizens of Pakistan.

Regarding Imran Khan’s demand for an election audit, Kozack declined to comment on ongoing political developments.

The IMF’s response follows Imran Khan’s decision to write to the global lender, urging an audit of the February 8 election before further loan negotiations with Islamabad.

Imran Khan’s counsel, Barrister Ali Zafar, emphasised the importance of good governance as per the charters of organizations like the IMF and EU. He asserted that democracy cannot function if the people’s mandate is compromised, citing alleged rigging during the elections.

Zafar outlined Imran Khan’s request for an independent audit of constituencies where irregularities were reported, involving the judiciary for oversight.

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