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Tarin denies Pakistan got IMF favours through military cooperation with US

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance Shaukat Tarin has denied that Pakistan got concessions from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) through extending military cooperation to the United States.

Tarin made it clear when asked about a report in the Financial Times on the occasion of launching Economic Survey for 2020-21 here on Thursday. The minister said that it was totally wrong and they were going to issue a rebuttal of the story. He said that he had discussed US relations on account of trade and investment but there was no mention of using US leverage to win support of the IMF in his interview.

A day earlier, the FT reported that Pakistan’s finance minister said military co-operation with the US over America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan had given Imran Khan’s government “some space” to delay unpopular IMF reforms.

The report said that officials are seeking US support in the form of financial backing from the Washington-based international financial institution in exchange for helping President Joe Biden withdraw all US troops by September 11 and bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table.

 Shaukat Tarin said the IMF had been receptive to Islamabad’s request to hold off raising power tariffs and sales taxes that have hit Pakistan’s poor hard. “What we do not need is more burden on our poor people,” said Tarin. “We have been talking to the American officials and they’re willing to help. “In 2008, we obviously had the US and everybody else on my right side because of the war on terror . . . Today things are different,” said Tarin in the interview to the Financial Times.