Hours after a section of media reported that Prime Minister Imran Khan has expressed serious reservations over Finance Minister Asad Umar’s performance, Special Assistant to PM on Media Iftikhar Durrani dismissed the news calling it ‘fabricated’ and ‘baseless’.
According to the reports, Prime Minter Imran had criticised Finance Minister Umar’s approach to seek a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) during an informal meeting with senior Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders.
Durrani said neither such a meeting chaired by the premier took place nor had he expressed such views regarding performance of the finance minister, Express News reported on Friday.
Umar is a close aide of PM Khan and a senior party leader, who the media advisor said is fully aware of the challenges facing the country. He added that the prime minister had full confidence over the finance minister’s capabilities.
The report had also claimed that the premier would take the nation into confidence over the economic policies in next few days.
PTI’s Public Relations chief Azhar Laghari also dismissed the reports in a tweet earlier in the day.
After failing to find alternative sources to bridge a $10-billion financing gap in the current fiscal year, Finance Minister Umar on Monday had announced that Pakistan would approach the IMF for a bailout package – the second in the past five years.
Both Pakistan and the IMF have already covered significant ground during a week-long staff-level visit of an IMF team to Pakistan that ended last week. However, some thorny issues remained to be addressed including the extent of new measures and disclosure of details of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects.