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Tuesday May 28, 2024

US says it supports Pak efforts to break free from debt cycle

PTI founder Imran Khan had written a letter to the IMF asking it to focus on political stability in new bailout talks

By Wajid Ali Syed
February 29, 2024
State Department’s spokesperson Matthew Miller. — AFP/File
State Department’s spokesperson Matthew Miller. — AFP/File

WASHINGTON: The US has urged Islamabad to continue working with the IMF and other related institutions to ensure macro economic reforms in the country.

“We support Pakistan’s efforts to break free from the vicious cycle of debt and international financing,” the State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said on Wednesday.

“The long-term health of Pakistan’s economy is crucial to its stability,” he said responding to a question during the daily briefing.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s founder Imran Khan had written a letter to the IMF asking it to focus on political stability in new bailout talks. Contrary to his wishes in that letter, the IMF has already declined to get itself involved in such theatrics.

Last week, the IMF spokesperson Julie Kozack said that the Fund was ready to work with Pakistan’s new government on policies to ensure macroeconomic stability and prosperity for all of Pakistan’s citizens.

The State Department spokesperson emphasized on the very point as well saying, “Pakistan’s new government must immediately prioritise the economic situation because the policies over the next several months will be crucial to maintain economic stability for Pakistanis.”

He added, “We urge Pakistan to continue working with the IMF and other international financial institutions towards macro economic reforms.”

While the caretaker federal cabinet has postponed its plan to file an appeal against American sanctions on Iran with regard to the Pak-Iran Gas pipeline project, the US Department of State has declared that “helping Pakistan address its energy shortage crisis is a priority for the United States.”

“We continue to discuss gas pipeline projects with the government of Pakistan, but we will not comment on the details of those diplomatic discussions,” a State Department spokesperson told The News via email.

The spokesperson expanded on US sponsored energy related projects in the country. “We have supported the addition of approximately 4,000 MW of clean energy capacity in Pakistan. Our projects have dramatically increased the nation’s electricity capacity -- today powering the homes of more than 50 million Pakistanis.” the department said.

“Additionally, through the US-Pakistan Green Alliance, a transformative initiative between our two countries, we are working together to address today’s most pressing environmental challenges, especially around water management, climate smart agriculture and renewable energy,” it further said.