Allah responsible for our country's prosperity, says Pakistan finance minister – India Today

By India Today Web Desk: As Pakistan grapples with an economic crisis, its finance minister Ishaq Dar has put the onus of the country's development on the almighty, saying "Allah is responsible for its development and prosperity".
"If Allah can create Pakistan, then he can also protect, develop, and make it prosper," news agency PTI quoted Ishaq Dar as saying.
Cash-strapped Pakistan, reeling under the drastic aftermath of deadly floods, has several challenges on its agenda. Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in January 2023 openly sought the international community's financial support and said Pakistan required USD 30 billion to recover from the floods.
Dar said Pakistan was suffering due to the misdeeds of the previous government and a 'drama' that was started some five years ago. He also said that Pakistan's economy was strong under Nawaz Sharif's leadership between the years 2013 and 2017. He said that the Pakistan Stock Exchange was the best capital market in South Asia and ranked fifth under Nawaz Sharif's tenure.

"Pakistan was on the growth track during Nawaz's tenure, but it was derailed," he said.
"People can see the destruction the country has suffered in the last five years, and they know who has delivered in the past," Dar added.

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Addressing an inaugural event in Islamabad, the Pakistani finance minister exuded hope that his country would progress because it was created in the name of Islam. The finance minister said, "They are trying their best to improve Pakistan's condition under Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's leadership".
Dar said that the PM Sharif-led government had inherited issues from the preceding Imran Khan-led government. He said that PM Sharif's government was working day and night.
"The team (PM Sharif-led government) is trying to improve the situation ahead of the elections," Dar said.

In the wake of an acute balance of payments crisis, Pakistan has pleaded for assistance from external financing. Pakistan's local reports stated that the United States has agreed to support Pakistan during its unprecedented economic crisis and the aftermath of floods last year. On Thursday, a Washington-based global lender announced that a staff mission would deliberate on Pakistan's bail-out programme.
Pakistan secured a USD 6 billion IMF bailout in 2019. It was topped up with another USD 1.1 billion in 2022 to help the country following the unprecedented floods. But the IMF suspended disbursements in November due to Pakistan's failure to make more progress on fiscal consolidation amid political turmoil in the country.
Pakistan's existing foreign exchange reserves are said to be on the cusp of absolute depletion with less than three weeks' worth of import cover.
The Pakistani rupee extended its downward trend on Friday with the local currency plunging over Rs 12 against the US dollar in the interbank market. A day earlier, the rupee shed 24.11 in the interbank market, falling as low as Rs 255.43 to the dollar. The 9.6 per cent decline is the second-biggest drop in a single session.

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