Finance Minister Ishaq Dar clarified on Monday that neither the International Monetary Fund (IMF) nor any other country has attached any other conditionality or made any demand from Pakistan concerning its nuclear capability.
In a press statement, the finance minister said that the delay in the IMF staff-level agreement is purely due to technical reasons, for which the government is continuously engaged with the IMF to conclude the deal at the earliest.
The minister added that his response to a query regarding reasons for the delay in the IMF program is being quoted out of context.
Clarifying further he said that his comments about Pakistan’s nuclear program were in response to a colleague senator’s specific question, wherein, I emphasized that Pakistan has the sovereign right to develop its nuclear program, as it best suits our national interests, without any external dictation, which, by no means should in any way whatsoever be linked with the ongoing negotiations with the IMF.
It is pertinent to mention here that a day earlier, IMF dismissed the speculation that it wants Pakistan to abandon its long-range nuclear weapons program.
“Regarding recent speculation that program discussions with the authorities for the ninth review under IMF-supported program may have covered Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program, I want to be categoric that there is absolutely no truth to this or any insinuated link between the past or current IMF supported programs and decisions by any Pakistani government over its nuclear program,” the lender’s Resident Representative Esther Perez Ruiz said in a statement.