The prime minister was addressing the ‘Turnaround Pakistan’ conference organised by the Ministry of Planning and Development when he received a message from the finance minister regarding a potential increase in funding from the IMF.
“Miftah Ismail in a message said that we will hopefully be receiving $2 billion instead of $1 billion from the IMF,” the premier said. He went on to express his desire for self-reliance, stating that it is “easier said than done”.
Shehbaz placed importance on the necessity for all sectors to cooperate for Pakistan’s development and highlighted the importance of self-reliance, implying that it guarantees “political and economic independence”.
The premier’s remarks came shortly after Miftah revealed that Pakistan has received combined economic and financial targets for the seventh and eighth reviews of its IMF bailout programme.
While discussing the recent opening of a mega-development project in Bangladesh, PM Shehbaz said that the Bangladeshi premier had proudly proclaimed that they did so without the help of international benefactors.
“This is a big achievement; however, Pakistan is not lacking in resources or expertise”, he said. He went on to cite the example of the Reko Diq where he claimed Pakistan had lost billions of rupees but was yet to earn anything from it.
He noted that 75 years had passed since the country’s founding, and that while many grandiose claims had been made, no substantive action had yet been taken. “We all have a responsibility here, but crying will get us nowhere. We need to make some tough decisions, and stick to them.”