IMF to announce relief in debt servicing for Pakistan: Qureshi

By: News Desk      Published: 10:52 AM, 16 Apr, 2020
IMF to announce relief in debt servicing for Pakistan: Qureshi

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Thursday said the IMF would soon announce relief for Pakistan in debt servicing, which was supposed to be applicable for May 1.

He said the IMF had earlier covered 25 countries in the phase of relief measures which would be extended to 76.

He said the coronavirus pandemic is hurting the global economy particularly the poor countries. “Restructuring of debts will be helpful for the developing countries,” he added.

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Qureshi said Prime Minister Imran Khan had also called on the global lenders to waive interest payments on the loans.

Talking to 24NewsHD TV channel, Qureshi said a total of 40,000 Pakistanis wanted to return to the country and the government had started the process for their repatriation.

He, however, added that there could be an increase in the number of those intending to fly back to Pakistan. Bringing the overseas Pakistanis back to the country was a government responsibility, said the foreign minister.

Commenting on the situation in Occupied Kashmir, he noted that the entire world was fighting the coronavirus but the Indian government had been busy in targeting the Kashmiris.

On the other hand, the Hindu extremist organisation RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) too had started going after the Muslims in India.

Qureshi’s statement about the IMF came as Prime Minister Imran Khan has been calling for assisting the developing countries in tackling the coronavirus.

In a recent video message, Imran said he was worried people in the developing world would die of hunger as a result of lockdowns.

The prime minister said he appealed to the world leaders, the heads of financial institutions and the UN secretary-general to get together for announcing a debt relief initiative for developing countries.

PM’s global initiative led debt relief to 76 countries

Later addressing a news conference in Islamabad, Foreign Minister Qureshi claimed that PM Imran Khan’s global initiative culminated in G20 countries to announce debt relief to 76 countries. “Yesterday, G20 countries decided to provide debt relief to 76 countries under which Pakistan will be given fiscal space,” Qureshi said and added “G20 countries approved PM Imran’s earlier proposal that had sought debt relief for the developing countries.”

Qureshi said that the entire world has been affected by the global pandemic, and added “How can it happen that China is affected by something, and the US remains immune to it?”

He said that the developing countries have witnessed a sudden loss of income, while their expenses have been increasing due to the weeks-long lockdowns around the world.

“Where the developed countries have been affected so severely by the coronavirus, you can imagine how the developing countries would be suffering from the pandemic,” the minister said.

After concluding his press conference, the minister took the liberty moments before taking the first question from the journalists, “Let me tell you one more thing: it was the fourth global initiative of the PM Imran Khan in the duration of a few months shy of completing two years of his term.”

The earlier three initiatives included climate change, Islamophobia and his crusade against corruption.

Qureshi said “Despite all our efforts, we could only provide $8 billion relief package to the people in the wake of the coronavirus.” He further said that the debt relief announced by the G20 countries would be applicable from May 1, and would benefit the people of Pakistan.