FM dismisses US statement linking IMF package with Chinese investment in Pakistan

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ISLAMABAD, August 1 (APP):Foreign Minister Abdullah Hussain Haroon Wednesday dismissed the US statement linking the International Monetary Fund (IMF) package with the Chinese investment in Pakistan ‘as inappropriate’.
Speaking to media persons, he, however, made it clear that it would be the mandate of the newly democratically elected government of Pakistan to decide about going to the IMF as the caretaker government had its limits.
He said as far the US statement was concerned, it was completely wrong to link the Chinese investment in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) with possibility of any IMF package.
He said Pakistan was committed to complete all the projects of CPEC, a multi-billion flagship of One Road and One Belt (OBOR) initiative undertaken by China.
“The CPEC is linked with the progress and prosperity of Pakistan and it will be ensured that all the projects are completed within their time frame,” he reiterated.
The minister said the Chinese President Xi Jinping considered Pakistan as an iron brother and absolutely there was no need for the third party to intervene in this friendship.
Chinese were already investing about $ 3 trillion in OBOR in the region and the CPEC was one of the significant components of the initiative, he added.
About US-Pak ties, the minister further read out a portion of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s statement about his country’s readiness to work with the new government in Pakistan.
The minister said why the US administration was not speaking about helping the new government in Pakistan.
He said Pakistan expected other countries to respect its sovereignty, integrity and solidarity. Pakistan had paid heavy price in the long war on terror and astonishingly, it was being asked to do more, he said and referred to military operations in North and South Waziristan.
He also highlighted Pakistan’s efforts in the Afghan peace process by facilitating and encouraging the Afghan government-led initiative with Taliban.
The minister expressed his wonder at the efforts which continued to throttle Pakistan and questioned the US decision to grant India the STA-1 trading status equivalent to its allies.
Moreover, the US future financial support was linked to Afghanistan, he said, noting an irrational ire over CPEC whereas the larger sums were shifted to India.
He said the issue was raised at a time when the government of Pakistan was trying to raise living standard of Pakistanis.
China had not demanded anything and the efforts could be perceived to undermine the Chinese initiative here, he added.
The minister, to a query, replied that the political party set to form the government had hinted about talking to Afghanistan, India and the US which could be beneficial for the region.
The minister said as far as the current economic affairs of the country were concerned; the caretaker government would make a statement on the upcoming Monday to apprise about its two months accomplishments and performance.
The caretaker government had played a highly strategic role despite its limits and addressed different economic and other issues, he added.