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IMF approached for help as last resort: Qureshi

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Anti-Pakistan and anti-CPEC forces are behind the latest terrorism incidents, said Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi while talking to the media on a range of issues here on Sunday. — AP/File
Anti-Pakistan and anti-CPEC forces are behind the latest terrorism incidents, said Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi while talking to the media on a range of issues here on Sunday. — AP/File

MULTAN: We were not willing to get financial assistance from IMF but we sought their help as we were helpless. Anti-Pakistan and anti-CPEC forces are behind the latest terrorism incidents, said Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi while talking to the media on a range of issues here on Sunday.

Read: Pakistan reaches agreement with IMF, to receive $6 billion over 3 years

Painting a grim economic scenario, he said, “The country is facing a shortage of investment. Financial deficit and unemployment are at their peak. The situation is worsening every day.”

Piling the blame on previous set-ups, he said, “Previous governments were dependent on direct taxes, import volume was high as compared to export volume, the national kitty was empty and the circular debt of last five months was Rs806 billion,” he said.

Acknowledging that help extended by friendly countries wasn’t enough to bail the country out, he said, “Friendly countries did extend their complete support to us but we had to go to the IMF.

Anti-CPEC forces are behind terrorism incidents, claims FM

“Negotiation process with IMF became lengthy as our government was trying its best that IMF relax its conditions to facilitate the masses.”

Regarding the attack on a five-star hotel in Gwadar and other terrorism incidents, he said, “Anti-Pakistan and anti-CPEC forces are behind terrorism incidents. Some forces do not want stability in Pakis­tan and others don’t want to see the CPEC project moving forward.” He said that unlike others Pakistan does not issue irresponsible statements. “We have to think that why all this is happening. We do not want to say anything without investigation that’s why we are not levelling allegations against India,” he said.

“India held Pakistan responsible for the Pulwama attack but failed to prove it. We will chase them if RAW [Indian Intelligence Agency] or NDS [Afghan Intelligence Agency] are involved in incidents of terrorism in the country,” he said.

About the ongoing polls in India, he said: “Election results in India will be announced on May 23, however, whoever comes into power will not have a soft corner for Pakistan.

“But the new Indian government would have no other option but to sit on the negotiation table with Pakistan.”

Regarding the creation of South Punjab province, he said, “Rs680 million is being allocated for the establishment of South Punjab secretariat which will be made functional from the incoming fiscal year onwards.

Published in Dawn, May 13th, 2019