Shehbaz Sharif Urges Fair Allocation of Financial Assistance for Pakistan’s Economic Challenges
Paris- Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif delivered a passionate speech at the Global Financing Pact Summit in Paris, criticizing global lenders for their disproportionate focus on funding wars while neglecting cash-strapped countries like Pakistan. The two-day summit, aimed at addressing international economic reforms, particularly in the face of climate change challenges, provided an opportunity for Shehbaz Sharif to voice his concerns regarding the unfair allocation of financial resources.
During his address, the Prime Minister expressed his disappointment, stating, “Global lenders would spend billions on war but only offer loans to flood-ravaged Pakistan.” He emphasized the disparity in priorities, where substantial resources are readily allocated for defense purposes, while countries struggling with natural disasters and economic crises are forced to bear the burden themselves. Shehbaz Sharif cited the devastating floods that hit Pakistan last year as an example, underscoring the challenges the country faced in mobilizing adequate funds with limited resources. He called for a more equitable approach to financial assistance, particularly in times of crisis, emphasizing the importance of saving lives and mitigating the impact of natural disasters.
Apart from his speech, the Prime Minister engaged in bilateral meetings with influential world leaders, including Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Egypt President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. These discussions aimed to garner support and understanding for Pakistan’s financial challenges, seeking cooperation in finding sustainable solutions to overcome them.
In a crucial move to secure much-needed funds, Shehbaz Sharif also met with International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva. This meeting served as a last-ditch effort to release the pending $1.1 billion tranche that has been delayed since November last year. With Pakistan’s $6.5 billion loan program with the IMF nearing its scheduled expiry at the end of June, the PM’s appeal for the prompt release of funds holds significant importance in managing the country’s financial obligations and maintaining stability.
In the backdrop of these efforts, reports emerged regarding an incident involving Pakistan’s finance minister, Ishaq Dar. It is alleged that Dar slapped a reporter who questioned him about the delayed funds. These claims, though unrelated to the PM’s efforts, have added a layer of complexity to the already challenging financial landscape in Pakistan.
The ongoing Global Financing Pact Summit remains a platform for discussions on international economic reforms, aiming to find solutions for debt-burdened developing nations. The outcomes of the summit, along with the subsequent actions taken by global lenders, will be closely monitored, particularly regarding Pakistan’s financial situation and the country’s efforts to address pressing economic challenges. Shehbaz Sharif’s impassioned plea for fair allocation of financial assistance reflects the urgency and importance of providing equitable support to nations in need.