IMF chief asks Kakar to ‘tax rich, protect the poor’

Published September 22, 2023
Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar meets IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva at the UN on Wednesday. — X/KGeorgieva
Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar meets IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva at the UN on Wednesday. — X/KGeorgieva

UNITED NATIONS: Over a busy couple of days in New York, caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar met with the UN chief, the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Chinese vice premier.

In their interaction on Wednesday evening, Krist­alina Georgieva urged PM Kakar to “tax the rich and protect the poor”.

“What we are asking in our programme is, please collect more taxes from the wealthy and please protect the poor people of Pakistan,” said Ms Georgieva, while talking to a group of Pakistani journalists outside the meeting room.

“I do believe this is in line with what people in Pakistan would like to see for the country.”

Later, she confirmed in a tweet that the prime minister agreed with her suggestion to tax the rich to protect the poor.

PM meets Chinese VP and UN chief; hopes for greater US ‘engagement’ with China

“We agreed on the vital need for strong policies to ensure stability, foster sustainable and inclusive growth, prioritise revenue collection, and protection for the most vulnerable in Pakistan,” she wrote.

The prime minister, however, characterised the meeting as constructive, which focused on mutual commitments.

UN chief

 New York: Caretaker PM Anwaarul Haq Kakar meets UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on the sidelines of the 78th UNGA session.—PPI
New York: Caretaker PM Anwaarul Haq Kakar meets UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on the sidelines of the 78th UNGA session.—PPI

The caretaker prime minister also met the UN Secretary-General Ant­onio Guterres and briefed him on India’s ongoing human rights violations in Indian-held Kashmir, APP reported.

PM Kakar called for implementing the UNSC resolutions on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

He also thanked the UN chief for his support during the last year’s floods and for co-hosting the Geneva Conference on Pakistan’s Resilient Recovery, Reha­bilitation and Recons­truction Framework (4RF).

Chinese VP

In addition, PM Kakar and Han Zheng, the Vice-President of People’s Republic of China, also met on the sidelines of UNGA on Thursday. In an appearance at the Council for Foreign Relations (CFR), PM Kakar was asked “what’s the relationship now between Pakistan and China?”

In response, he said: “Pakistan enjoys a strategic relationship with China. We are very clear that there are people who would qualify Pakistan as “China’s Israel”. It is probably more a good analogy for American audience, because you do understand and appreciate the value of Israel for United States.”

“Pakistan and China has a lot in common in terms of the emerging threats within region. There are commonality on certain issues, such as One-China policy, be it in Tibet, Xinjiang, Taiwan, we do share … the stated goals that we would stand shoulder to shoulder with each other, and it is reciprocated by China.”

Talking about US suspicion of Beijing, he said that perhaps there was a need to engage — economically, politically and socially — with China, and said he hoped that a rapprochement, along the lines of what Henry Kissinger accomplished in the 1970s through Islamabad, would be witnessed soon.

Canada-India spat

The PM also waded into the spat between Ottawa and New Delhi over the killing of a Sikh separatist in British Columbia, linking the episode to PM Narendra Modi’s Hindutva ideology.

He said Western nations had failed to see the “reality” of New Delhi’s right-wing leadership. “These ideologues of Hindutva, they are becoming emb­oldened in a manner that they are now going beyond the region,” PM Kakar told the audience at the CFR.

The “unfortunate killing of Mr Singh on Canadian soil is a reflection of that ominous tendency. But for obvious economic and strategic reasons, many players in the Western capitals chose to ignore this fact and reality,” he said.

Published in Dawn, September 22nd, 2023

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