Talks with IMF end without result

IMF Pakistan

Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) talks failed to produce any result on Monday as was evident from the fact that no date was announced for the mission’s crucial visit to Islamabad despite both the sides terming their first face-to-face meeting in four months “positive”.

The purpose of the meeting was to reach a consensus on the measures that would ensure the negotiations for the 9th programme review. But surprisingly, the finance ministry tweeted that Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and IMF Mission Chief Nathan Porter “discussed challenges to regional economies in the wake of climate change”.

Sources said Pakistan would have to take certain measures before the IMF sent a staff-level mission. Last week, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had announced that the IMF team would visit Pakistan in three days for programme negotiations – a deadline that has already passed.

Dar met Porter on the sidelines of the International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan in Geneva, according to the finance ministry. It added that they “discussed challenges to regional economies” in the wake of climate change. “The finance minister reiterated the commitment to complete the Fund programme,” it said.

The meeting was attended by Economic Affairs Minister Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and Economic Affairs Secretary Kazim Niaz.

Thanos Arvanitis, the deputy director of the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia department, said that “it was a good meeting but I do not have any statements to make”.