Cash-strapped Pakistan has urged the US to use diplomatic influence to convince the IMF to show a lenient attitude towards Islamabad, amid tough conditions conveyed by the global lender to revive its fund programme, a media report said on Thursday.
The request was made by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in his meeting on Wednesday with the visiting Deputy Assistant Secretary of the US Department of the Treasury for Asia Robert Kaproth at the Finance Division, The News International reported.
Quoting sources, the newspaper reported that Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) continued exchanging data this week but the Washington-based global lender has not shown any lenient attitude or relaxed its tough conditions so far.
One of the bones of contention is persistent differences over the approach to dealing with the exchange rate as the IMF considers it completely unacceptable for maintaining an artificially stable exchange rate.
Though Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had publicly announced that the government was ready to implement all IMF conditions for reviving the IMF programme, the government was now finding it politically hard to implement the tough conditions, the report said.
When contacted, a senior official of the finance division said that the talks continued in a positive way, reported the paper.
The IMF has refused to send its team for the ninth review of its USD 6 billion bailout package that would help Pakistan to get more funds under the package.
Separately, an official announcement stated that Dar welcomed Kaproth, and briefed him on the economic outlook of the country and apprised him that the government inherited a weak economic legacy and is focusing on fixing things by introducing reforms in all sectors.
He said that due to the pragmatic measures taken by the government, the country is destined for progress and development.
The finance minister also apprised him of the economic priorities of the government including putting the economy on the right path while fulfilling its international obligations.
Dar also shared with Kaproth the damages caused by the floods in Pakistan and its impact on the country's economy.
He stressed that the government is handling all challenges with complete commitment.
Kaproth underscored good relations between Pakistan and the US and expressed confidence in the policies and programmes of the government for economic and financial stability.
He also extended support and cooperation on economic and financial issues.