After overthrowing the Imran Khan dictatorship through a no-confidence resolution, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s new government is gearing up to re-start talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB) through a high-powered economic team, with the goal of restarting the IMF programme.
In the midst of Pakistan’s political uncertainty, the IMF recently stopped its programme, claiming that it would resume discussions with the country’s new leadership. It made its decision after opposition parties banded together and filed a no-confidence vote against then-Prime Minister Imran Khan, leading to his removal and the appointment of Shahbaz Sharif as his replacement.
According to reports, Pakistan’s government will send a high-powered delegation to Washington to attend the Breton Wood Institutions’ annual spring meeting, which includes the IMF and the World Bank. On the sidelines, it is expected to meet with the IMF delegation in the hopes of establishing new contacts and initiating table talks to revive the IMF programme.
It is important to note that Pakistan is falling well short of the IMF’s aim for the current fiscal year in terms of increasing the current account and budget deficits.
“The Ministry of Finance will have a technical discussion with the IMF on Friday,” a government official familiar with the Pakistani delegation’s visit to Washington said. “However, there is no scheduled virtual meeting for review talks at this moment.”
Miftah Ismail, the likely PM’s Finance Advisor, is anticipated to lead the Pakistani delegation.