IMF headquarters in Washington, USA. — AFP/File

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) information secretary Raoof Hasan declared Saturday that the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) delegation’s meeting with PTI Chairman Imran Khan established “beyond proof” the party’s relevance in the country.

“The meeting of the IMF delegation [with Khan] proves the political relevance of PTI […] beyond any doubt,” said the former information minister in a statement. 

Hasan further contended that the world was eager to work with the PTI chairman as he would be the next elected prime minister of the country despite the “worst state brutality” being used to “neutralise” his party.

Hasan’s remarks came after a meeting between an IMF team and Khan at his residence in Lahore yesterday, in which the two — as per PTI leader Hammad Azhar — discussed the staff-level agreement that the IMF reached with the government for a 9-month $3 billion SBA.

“In this context, we support the overall objectives and key policies.”

The PTI leader also said they wish to stress the importance of programmes to protect the lower-income segments of the population from high inflation.

The Washington-based lender is seeking the support of major political parties — including the PTI, ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) — for the recently announced $3 billion bailout programme.

The IMF’s resident representative Esther Perez Ruiz said in a statement that the meetings with political parties were to “seek assurances of their support for the key objectives and policies under a new IMF-supported program ahead of the approaching national elections.”

However, State Minister for Petroleum Musadik Malik rejected PTI’s claims and remarked that the PTI chairman’s only importance was that he sabotaged the IMF agreement.

Speaking during Geo News’ programme “Aj Shahzeb Khanzada k Saath”, Malik accused Khan of ruining the IMF programme by subsidising petrol during the end of his tenure and asking the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab finance ministers to sabotage the IMF agreement.

IMF meets PPP

Moreover, an IMF delegation also met the finance team of the PPP, including Senator Saleem Mandviwala and Federal Minister for Commerce Naveed Qamar.

The meeting, held at the minister’s enclave, aimed to discuss the possibility of a stand-by agreement with Pakistan, which would profoundly impact the nation’s financial stability, an official statement issued by the Ministry of Commerce said.

The PPP team expressed willingness to support the IMF programme, citing larger national interests as the driving force behind their decision.

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