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'We Have Never Defaulted and We Won't Now': Pakistani Finance Minister

© AP Photo / Alex BrandonPakistani Finance Minister Ishaq Dar
Pakistani Finance Minister Ishaq Dar - Sputnik India, 1920, 03.03.2023
For months, Pakistan has struggled with an economic crisis, with forex reserves reaching precarious levels, only enough to sustain imports for three weeks.
A day after Pakistan's foreign reserves rose from $3.25 billion to $3.82 billion, the country's Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said that Islamabad was not on the verge of defaulting, showing confidence in the South Asian nation's ability to avert a sovereign default.
"We have never defaulted and we won't now. Yes, we were in a precarious situation and are going through it currently," Dar said in a press conference in Islamabad on Friday.
Dar then blamed former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan for the current economic woes in the country.
"My presser today would be a reality check for Imran Khan," Dar told reporters in the Pakistani capital.
The minister even went on to label the cricketer-turned-politician as "selfish," given that he has never supported the Shehbaz Sharif government's steps to boost the economy.
Dar added that it was the "mismanagement and bad governance" of the erstwhile Khan government to blame for the poor shape of Pakistan's economy.
Dar's scathing criticism of Khan came 24 hours after the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief blasted the Sharif-led government after the country's currency slipped to an all-time low of Rs 285 to the US dollar, while the inflation hit the roof, breaking a 50-year record at 31.5 percent.
“Rupee slaughtered — lost over 62% or 110/$ in 11 months of PDM. This has increased public debt alone Rs 14.3 [trillion and] historic 75 [year] high inflation 31.5%,” Khan wrote on Twitter.
The war of words between Khan and Dar comes at a time when Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have been engaged in talks for the release of a $1.2 billion tranche as part of a stalled $7 billion loan program.
On Thursday, Dar mentioned that the discussions with the global lender were about to conclude and that the amount is expected to be disbursed next week.