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Miftah Ismail says ‘Pakistan still facing default risk’

Former finance minister Miftah Ismail has reiterated the importance of reviving the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan program, highlighting that Pakistan still faces the risk of default. In an interview
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Former finance minister Miftah Ismail has reiterated the importance of reviving the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan program, highlighting that Pakistan still faces the risk of default. In an interview with ARY News, Ismail emphasized that reaching out to the IMF is the only solution to prevent the country from facing a default situation. He explained that while Pakistan’s national economy can sustain itself for two to four months, it is inevitable to seek assistance from the IMF.

Ismail pointed out that Pakistani bonds are being sold at discounted rates in the global market, leaving the country with no viable alternative other than entering into an IMF agreement. He further stated that if the IMF agreement is not signed by June, the risk of default will increase.

Expressing his dissatisfaction with the government’s strategy, Ismail stated that the finance ministry’s efforts to revive the IMF programme in the past eight months have been a complete failure. Despite implementing all conditions, an IMF staff-level agreement has not yet been signed, according to Ismail.

The former finance minister emphasized that Pakistan cannot avoid the risk of default without securing the IMF loan. He stressed the need to sign the IMF agreement and secure funds from China. Additionally, Ismail stated that it is crucial to engage with friendly countries to find a solution to revive the economy. He asserted that the current crisis cannot be blamed on a single party and requires collective efforts.

In a separate statement, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar expressed confidence that Pakistan will overcome the economic crisis, with or without the IMF. Dar mentioned that foreign powers are surprised that Pakistan has managed to avoid default thus far. He also criticized the previous government led by Prime Minister Imran Khan, accusing it of damaging the national economy. However, Dar assured that Pakistan has reserves worth $1,000 billion and will strive to avoid burdening the common people in the upcoming budget. He emphasized the government’s commitment to bringing discipline to the economy and resolving economic issues.

The remarks from both former Finance Minister Miftah Ismail and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar highlight the criticality of addressing the economic challenges facing Pakistan and the significance of reviving the IMF loan programme to mitigate the risk of default.

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