PTI leader and former Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin in a leaked audio call allegedly asked Punjab Finance Minister Mohsin Leghari and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Finance Minister Taimur Jhagra to write letters withdrawing from the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) deal.
In one leaked audio, Tarin can be heard asking Leghari to tell the IMF that the commitment Punjab made was pre-floods and now the province “cannot honour it” due to massive losses caused by the floods.
Tarin told Leghari to draft a letter and send it to him for review so it could be sent to the federal government and later on to the IMF representative in Pakistan.
“You have signed a Rs750 billion [surplus] commitment with the IMF. You now need to tell them that the commitment you made was before the floods, and now [Punjab] has to spend a lot of funds for [the] floods [rehabilitation].”
“You need to say now that ‘we will not be able to honour our commitment’,” Tarin said.
The former minister further told Leghari that this is all he [Imran Khan] wants – for pressure to increase on the incumbent government.
Leghari questioned if this move will affect the state and will Pakistan as a state suffer if the Punjab government does what is being asked to do so?
“Well, frankly isn’t the state already suffering because of the way they are treating your chairman [Imran Khan] and everybody else? IMF will definitely ask them: where will you get the money from now?” Tarin responded.
Tarin further said that the party could not bear being mistreated. “We cannot be blackmailed,” Tarin said.
“This is what was decided yesterday, however, whether we will be releasing this to IMF or not we will ask the chairman,” revealed the former FM.
In another leaked audio conversation between Tarin and Jhagra, Tarin asked Jhagra if he had written the letter.
“I am on the way. I have the previous letter. I will send the letter to you after drafting it,” replied Jhagra.
“First point [of the letter] would be that we need huge financial aid for restoration of infrastructure and rehabilitation of flood affectees,” Tarin tells the KP finance minister.
“By the way, this is a blackmailing tactic,” he admitted.
PTI’s finance minister in KP, Jhagra further said that he knows the number two guy at IMF and he can send the letter to him. He also revealed that he had been in contact with the IMF person and that he had been getting information from him.