IMF treats Pakistan as a ‘colony’: Maryam Nawaz

LAHORE: Pakistan ‘hostage’ to IMF treating cash-strapped country as ‘colony’, says senior PML-N official Maryam Nawaz said while lambasting former Prime Minister Imran Khan for flouting previous deals with the global lender.
Pakistani economy is in dire straits. The country is awaiting a much-needed $1.1 billion tranche of financing from the Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“The IMF is not ready to trust us. Pakistan is hostage to the IMF and treats the country like a colony. Even if we try to get out of its clutches, we cannot,” said Maryam, leader of the Pakistan Muslim League (N) (PML-N), speaking to young people and social media activists from Model Town here on Monday.
She lambasted Pakistan’s Tehreek-i-Insaf President Imran Khan for flouting the previous IMF deal, the Dawn newspaper reported.
“Because of this, today we are asking for Rs 1 billion,” the 49-year-old leader said.
She compared her father Nawaz Sharif’s government to that of Khan, saying the cricketer-turned-politician had been “launched to destroy the country”.
Maryam, who is the daughter of former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, has launched several attacks on Khan for selling gifts presented to him when he was Prime Minister and accused him of pushing Pakistan to the brink of default of payment.
She also said that Imran should be arrested.
“Why is he hiding behind the party workers? He wants to be prime minister again. I ask what he did to get them (a reference to the establishment) to make him prime minister again. Imran Khan tried to get the support of some generals and judges. Now he is counting on the judiciary to return to power,” she said.
Pakistan joined a $6 billion IMF program under Khan’s government in 2019, which was increased to $7 billion last year.
The ninth review of the program is currently underway with talks between IMF officials and the government for the release of $1.1 billion.
Pakistan and the IMF held virtual talks after the two sides held 10 days of intensive talks with an IMF delegation in Islamabad from Jan. 31 to Feb. 9, which failed to yield an agreement.
Pakistan, whose exchange rate has fallen below $3 billion, desperately needs financial aid and a bailout from the International Monetary Fund to avoid an economic collapse.


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