Pakistani finance minister says Allah is responsible for country’s prosperity
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said Friday that Pakistan was the only country founded in the name of Islam and that Allah was responsible for its development and prosperity as the cash-strapped nation faced to an acute balance of payments crisis.
Addressing the groundbreaking ceremony of the Green Line express train service here, the top leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) said he was confident Pakistan would make progress because it was created in the name of Islam.
“If Allah can create Pakistan, then He can also protect it, develop it and make it prosper,” Dar said.
The Finance Minister said that “they are doing their best to improve the situation of Pakistan under the leadership of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif”.
Mr. Dar reiterated that the incumbent government had inherited several problems from the previous government led by Imran Khan, adding that the government was working day and night.
“The team is trying to improve the situation before the elections.” He said the country was still suffering from the “drama” that began five years ago and insisted the economy was strong during former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s tenure from 2013 to 2017.
The Finance Minister claimed that the Pakistan Stock Exchange was the best performing capital market in South Asia and ranked fifth in the world during the time of Nawaz Sharif and that global institutions were targeted.
Mr Dar said Pakistan was now paying the price for the “Panama drama”, the ousting of the PML-N government and similar problems it had faced over the past five years. “Pakistan was on the path of growth during Nawaz’s tenure, but it got off the rails,” he said.
“People can see the destruction the country has suffered over the past five years, and they know who delivered in the past,” he added.
Faced with an acute balance of payments crisis, Pakistan is desperate to secure much-needed external financing, with less than three weeks of import cover in its foreign exchange reserves, which have fallen from $923 million to $3.68 billion. of dollars.
Pakistan secured a $6 billion bailout from the IMF in 2019. It was topped up with another $1.1 billion in 2022 to help the country following the unprecedented floods. But the IMF suspended disbursements in November due to Pakistan’s failure to make further progress on fiscal consolidation amid political unrest in the country.
Meanwhile, the Washington-based global lender said on Thursday it was sending a staff mission to Islamabad this month to discuss resuming the bailout program.
Despite repeated requests from the Minister of Finance, who replaced Miftah Ismail, to bring the dollar rate below Rs 200, the greenback reached a record level of Rs 268.30 on the interbank market.
The Pakistani rupee extended its downtrend on Friday, with the local currency plunging above Rs 12 against the US dollar in the interbank market as the government eased its control over the currency in a bid to convince the International Monetary Fund (IMF) release the pending loan tranche. .
The local unit was trading at Rs 268.30 from Thursday’s close of Rs 255.43 in the interbank market.
A day earlier, the rupee lost 24.11 in the interbank market, falling as low as Rs 255.43 per dollar. The 9.6% drop is the second largest drop in a single session.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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