Peshawar (Staff Report): Federal minister for Finance Asad Umar said on Monday said that differences between Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had decreased.
“There has been a decrease in the difference we had with the IMF. The IMF has changed its position... It seems we have come closer to an agreement with the IMF. Insha'Allah this will be the last agreement. This will happen when businesses grow," said the minister while addressing the Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Peshawar.
Discussing the importance of strengthening trade ties with the neighbouring countries, the minister insisted that Pakistan needed to "increase trade with Iran and Afghanistan with complete focus".
The finance minister also commented on the Afghan peace process and said that "Pakistan should play whatever role it can" in ensuring peace in the neighbouring country.
"It is clear to the people living in Peshawar and the rest of KP [that there should be peace in Afghanistan]. It should be clear to everyone that there can be no peace in Pakistan unless there is peace in Afghanistan."
"As far as the east is concerned, it seems that [there can be no progress] until elections are over in India. Half of their election campaigns are based on anti-Pakistan rhetoric, so right now they are busy with that. Once the elections are over, we hope that their behaviour will be better," he said.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Imran Khan met International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde on the sidelines of the World Government Summit in Dubai.
During the meeting, Lagarde assured the PM that the organisation was ready to support Pakistan in its efforts to shore up the crippling economy.