Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin has denied reports that Pakistan is leveraging its ties with the US military for putting off some reform measures under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan programme.
His comments were made in reference to a story by The Financial Times which quoted the finance minister saying that military cooperation with the US over America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan had given Imran Khan’s government “some space” to delay unpopular IMF reforms.
Islamabad is in talks with the IMF to release the next tranche of funding as part of a $6bn loan programme.
Responding to journalists after the unveiling of the Pakistan Economic Survey on Thursday, the minister said, “The reporter interviewed me for an hour to discuss 19 points. Throughout the conversation, US was mentioned only once and she asked me about Pakistan’s relationship with US.”
He further added, “I replied that US has allocated some amount for military training. She asked if US allocated any amount for other things, I replied that it hasn’t and we don’t need money rather we want to enhance trade and business with US. We want investment to come from US to Pakistan in oil and gas and IT sector.”
The minister reiterated that this was the sole conversation related to the US, adding the finance ministry will be issuing a rebuttal on the story.
“That is a completely wrong story and we will issue a rebuttal.”