‘Successful’ Geneva conference example of world’s trust in our govt: PM Shehbaz

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Shehbaz Geneva conference

Islamabad: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Wednesday said that the successful Geneva conference on climate was an example of the trust reposed by the international community in our coalition government.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, flanked by other cabinet members, PM Shehbaz said the conference was attended by representatives from all provinces, whose case was supported by the federal government.

During the conference, PM Shehbaz vowed that the government would utilize “every penny” of donations pledged at a donors’ conference in Geneva for the prosperity and rehabilitation of flood-hit people.

On Monday, Pakistan hosted the International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan in Geneva, in which multilateral and bilateral donors pledged nearly $10 billion to Pakistan to build back better after the devastating floods of 2022.

PM Shehbaz, along with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, presented Pakistan’s case passionately and said it would cover half the cost of the post-destruction framework but pleaded with the international community to fund the rest.

However, contrary to expectations, pledges exceeded the requested $8 billion.

Breakdown of $9+ billion pledged to Pakistan in Geneva conference

Providing details, PM Shehbaz said that pledges worth $9.7 billion were announced for the Pakistan flood victims, congratulating his federal ministers for the hard work they and their teams put in before this critical conference.

The premier said that the world reposed trust in the government, despite the worst propaganda.

“The ball is now in our court. We now have to transparently spend every single penny on the people’s prosperity.”

During the conference, he also hailed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman for his plans to increase Saudi investment in Pakistan to reach $10 billion and the deposit of amount in the State of Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to $5 billion.

Crown Prince MBS directs to study increasing Saudi Arabia’s investments in Pakistan to reach $10 billion

No threat to banks’ reserves

Speaking on the occasion, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar stated that his remarks regarding banks’ reserves, which he made prior to leaving for Geneva, were “misinterpreted.”

“Before leaving, I stated that Pakistan’s reserves are $10 billion. This is because till 1999, the reserves were classified cumulatively and this is done by every country in the world.”

“Some people misquoted me and spread misinformation. I want to clarify that we are not taking over commercial banks.”

He also said that the status of the $1 billion announced by Saudi Arabia was unclear.

“We are unclear whether it is a loan or grant so for now, we have not counted this in the commitments,” he said.

Talking about the International Monetary Fund (IMF), he said that although the government would achieve the fiscal budget target, it would still “enhance fiscal measures but we will not burden the common man.”