ISLAMABAD                  -             Former Chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani has expressed grave concern over some reports that a team of International Monetary Fund (IMF) who was on a recent visit to Pa­kistan has stressed upon the Pakistan Tehreek-e-In­saf (PTI) government to cut its reliance on China.

“The IMF team visiting Pakistan must realise that Pakistan is an indepen­dent sovereign nation,” he said in a statement, adding that Pakistan is not a client state of the international­ist financial lender.

The IMF team complet­ed its visit to Pakistan on Friday without reaching a staff-level agreement.

“The observation of the staffer team of the IMF that Pakistan should cut its re­liance on China and should sign free trade agree­ments with other capitals is strongly condemned,” Pakistan People’s Par­ty (PPP) Senator Rabba­ni said. “The IMF should be aware of history that people of this area have fought against and defeat­ed the ‘East India Compa­ny’. Therefore, if they have such designs, then they must rethink their pres­ence in Pakistan.”

He alleged that the IMF is used by the US that has been critical of Paki­stan’s economic and stra­tegic relationship with China. It will be recalled that in 2018, the US secre­tary of state made a state­ment to the effect that the IMF funds will be used to pay ‘Chinese debt.’ Further during negotiations with IMF, the government laid bare all projects and other financial commitment of CPEC before them, he said.

He further said that se­nior US diplomat Alice Wells has continuously been critical of the CPEC and Pakistan’s involve­ment in it.

This coupled with the statement made by PM’s Advisor Razak Dawood, in the initial days of this government, that the CPEC can be put on one year’s hold, raises serious doubts as to what clandes­tine agreements this gov­ernment has entered into with IMF and western cap­itals, while battering away Pakistan’s economic sov­ereignty, he concluded.