Dar to Miftah: ‘Those predicting Pakistan’s default should be ashamed’


ISLAMABAD: In a fresh salvo directed at former finance czar Miftah Ismail, Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar said Saturday that those predicting Pakistan’s default should be “ashamed” of themselves.

FinMin Dar’s anger was directed at his party colleague and former minister, who had recently said that the country would default in October sans the revival of the stalled International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) programme.

Ismail, who was removed as the finance minister in September last year, told journalists recently that the delay in the IMF programme had pushed the country’s economy into “current troubles”.

“It is clear that Pakistan would default without an IMF programme in the last quarter of this financial year, if not by the end of this fiscal year,” Miftah, who has quit active politics, said.

Ismail said that the IMF programme is “essential” for Pakistan if it is to avoid default.

But opposed to Mifath’s pessimism about the country’s finances, Dar — talking to a business delegation in Islamabad — said the government has taken several measures to stabilise the economy.

“What happened in the past has badly affected Pakistan’s reputation. However, the government is doing its best. We are well aware of the burden being put on the business community and the common men.”

He admitted that the country is passing through a difficult period but assured the business community that Pakistan would overcome these challenges as a nation.

“But the recovery will take time.”

Dar also recounted his previous achievements to improve the economy when the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) came into power in 1999 and 2013.

The PML-N leader lamented the political instability in the country and held it responsible for the economic crisis.

“Most difficult reforms have already been carried out. Whatever bleeding had to happen, had already taken place.”