Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Thursday that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) did not trust Pakistan because the previous government had gone back on its agreement with the institution.
Addressing a meeting of his party’s senators in Islamabad, the prime minister said the PTI-led government should not have agreed to the terms of the Fund if it had issues with it, adding that once an agreement was signed, it should have been enforced.
“The IMF was adamant on us fulfilling all the conditions of the agreement […] it was a difficult stage and I want to say that more difficulties are to come.”
The premier said the terms of the agreement with the IMF had been decided, expressing the hope that matters would be settled within the next few days. However, he warned that the situation would not improve overnight once a deal was signed.
“Will prosperity come overnight after an agreement is signed? Not at all […] we have to strengthen our financial position.”
He said that taking the nation towards prosperity was the responsibility of the government, the cabinet and state institutions.
“We will have to rise above personal interests and work hard to take decisions which will make us prosper.”
He said that the government had provided a relief package wherein the common man would get Rs2,000 per month. “More measures will be taken to provide relief.”
Talking about the budget for the new fiscal year, PM Shehbaz said that “genuine taxes” were being imposed on the net income of wealthy citizens.
The premier said he would address the nation in the next few days to take them onboard regarding the steps taken by the government to improve the economic situation.
Reiterating his message of working together for the betterment of the country, the prime minister said nations were made through hard work, and blood, sweat and tears.
“This is the approach which we have to adopt and I am ready, along with our allied parties and institutions, to work together and this make this nation prosper.”
The premier also talked about the $2.3 billion loan from China, thanking the neighbouring country for extending their help during these trying times.
He attributed the country’s economic woes to the habit of asking for loans. He said that “crying over the past” would not fix existing issues. Our fate will change if we mend our ways and bring improvement, he said, adding that the country had been blessed with natural wealth and resources.
“How long will China help us? Saudi Arabia must be wondering when their brothers will learn to stand on their own two feet,” PM Shehbaz remarked.
PM Shehbaz also said that it caused the PML-N led coalition government great pain to hike petrol prices prices but said that its priorities were first the state, then politics.