Pakistan PM’s adviser leaves without concluding IMF talks

Shaukat Tarin, adviser to the Pakistan Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, left Washington without concluding the talks that could have led to a much-needed endorsement of the governments economic policies by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Dawn reported.

Tarin, however, left behind Finance Secretary Yousaf Khan to further pursue the talks for the resumption of a $6 billion loan facility that would bring an immediate relief to the cash-starved government by delivering a suspended tranche of $1 billion.

Tarin first came to Washington in early October and went to New York on October 15 after a 10-day stay.

He was scheduled to fly to London from there, but returned to Washington on Tuesday as an IMF official said at a news briefing that the talks had progressed to “a very good step”.

Till Wednesday evening, the Pakistan delegation expected a positive outcome and scheduled a news briefing on Thursday morning to share the good news with the media. However, they sent another alert to the media late at night, cancelling the briefing, the report said.

Later Thursday, Tarin quietly left Washington, hopping on a train to catch an international flight from New York.

He may join Prime Minister Imran Khan who is scheduled to visit Saudi Arabia this weekend.

During his two visits to Washington, Tarin met IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and other officials twice, and after both meetings each side expressed the hope that the consultations would soon lead to a positive conclusion.

They did not, the report added.

Pakistani officials, however, still insist that it would be a mistake to say the talks had failed.

“I think we are in a good place,” said one of them. “We are getting positive vibes.”