ISLAMABAD: Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad, the Interior Minister, has stated that Shahbaz Sharif, the leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, is “more corrupt than his brother Nawaz Sharif.”

The comment was made during a news conference in Islamabad, where the interior minister slammed the opposition for criticising the government’s economic policies and plan to seek IMF aid (IMF).

Rasheed stated that it was “alright for prior administrations to seek foreign help,” but that “an problem was created when Prime Minister Imran Khan took a same approach.”

“It is halal if the opposition approaches the IMF, but it is haram if Imran Khan does,” Rasheed remarked.

“These guys [previous rulers] have approached the IMF 23 times before,” he noted.

Speaking about the IMF’s conditions, which were required to ensure Pakistan’s sixth review of the $6 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFE) by the Fund’s Executive Board, which is scheduled to meet later this month to decide on the disbursement of the $1 billion tranche, Rasheed said the conditions were difficult, but the government had no choice but to accept them for the betterment of Pakistan’s economic situation.

The National Assembly passed the State Bank of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill 2021 and supplementary finance bill — dubbed a “mini-budget” by the opposition — with a majority vote on Thursday, putting new tax measures into effect in an ambitious drive to meet the IMF’s revenue target of Rs5.8 trillion.

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