Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Tuesday announced that all matters pertaining to the ninth review of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) package were completed and that payments were prepared till June.

In an interview with a private media channel, the finance czar also said that Pakistan was pursuing financial help from Saudi Arabia, including doubling the current deferred oil payment facility given by the kingdom to $2.4 billion per year.

“I have discussed things with the Saudi finance minister, and their response is positive. They say they will support us,” he added.

He maintained that positive talks regarding financial help were underway with both Saudi Arabia and China.

The minister highlighted that the ban on buying discounted oil from Russia was lifted and that US officials had informed him about the formation of a G7 pricing committee for Russian oil products, adding that there would be a price cap, which he has agreed with.

Talking about Punjab Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi, Dar stated that initially, PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif was not ready to accept him as a candidate, but Dar had convinced Nawaz. He added, however, that Elahi’s actions after he came into office were a “blow” and that he would no longer support the Punjab CM.

Elahi, who appeared undecided regarding his political alliances at the time of the no-confidence motion against former premier Imran Khan, had ultimately sided with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) camp.

Dar stated that Elahi received two calls from people who made him visit Bani Gala and advised him to establish an alliance with the PTI.

Read Saudi cash finance soon: Dar

The minister also alleged that Pervaiz Elahi told former army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa that he had been advised to join the PTI camp and that Gen Bajwa maintained that Elahi should do “whatever he pleased”.

Furthermore, he said if the army chief’s summary had been rejected after Bajwa retired, the incumbent coalition government had a “Plan B”. Dar hoped that the new chief of army staff (COAS) will improve the organisation and system.

Dar said that he told President Dr Alvi that negotiations with opposing PTI could not take place with conditionalities and that early elections were impossible. He maintained that if the former ruling party wanted to come to the assembly, then it must come by itself.

‘Risk of default’

Dar’s predecessor, former finance minister Miftah Ismail said that the risk of default would remain until the resumption of the IMF programme.

In an interview with a local TV channel, Miftah highlighted that if the IMF programme was not restored, other international financial institutions would not give loans to Pakistan, which would cause the country to default.

He suggested that the incumbent government impose a tax on the rich for economic stability.

The PML-N leader said that Imran Khan had pushed Pakistan towards default and wanted to see it default.

Commenting on Maryam Nawaz’s intervention on his decisions when he was the finance minister, Miftah said, “my sister Maryam tweeted on small matters which she could have discussed over the phone.”


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