Updated March 15th, 2024 at 21:21 IST

Imran Khan's PTI Orchestrating Protest Outside IMF; Against Financial Assistance to Pakistan

Pakistan's Information Minister Atta Tarar on Friday accused jailed former prime minister Imran Khan's party of orchestrating a protest in front of the IMF building in Washington to "sabotage" the global lender's plan to assist the cash-strapped country.

Supporters of imprisoned Pakistan's Former Prime Minister Imran Khan chant slogans. | Image:AP
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Pakistan's Information Minister Atta Tarar on Friday accused jailed former prime minister Imran Khan's party of orchestrating a protest in front of the IMF building in Washington to "sabotage" the global lender's plan to assist the cash-strapped country. Speaking at a press conference, Tarar said that the Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party was trying to prevent the visit of the International Monetary Fund mission to Pakistan to review the ongoing USD 3 billion loan before releasing its third and final tranche of USD 1.1 billion.

"PTI is dead-set on sabotaging the IMF programme," he said, adding that the party should prioritise its policy and keep the country first and its politics secondary to the welfare of the state. Tarar also criticised the Pakistani-origin people living in the US and protesting in front of the IMF building and demanding the global lender not to provide relief to Pakistan until the incarcerated Khan was released.

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"I will term this as a heinous and despicable act,” he said, referring to the protest and adding that the protestors had no right to protest as they “were paying taxes abroad and living on that money”.

Tarar's remarks came just a few days after he accused the PTI of a social media campaign, urging the European Union against continuing the GSP+ status of Pakistan. However, the PTI has distanced itself from any such move and also said that the party was not against the GSP + status provided by the European Union to Pakistan.

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Earlier, Khan, in a letter, had formally highlighted the alleged rigging in elections and asked the IMF to look into the issue of fraud in polls before agreeing on assistance to Pakistan. Currently, the IMF team is in Pakistan and holding discussions with local officials to verify if its conditions were fulfilled before reporting back to its head office which would release the last tranche of the loan agreed in 2023 and completed next month. Pakistan is also eager to get another loan from the IMF for a longer period and negotiations would start for it soon after the completion of the ongoing programme. 

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Published March 15th, 2024 at 21:21 IST