Finance Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar has said that Joint Investigation Team (JIT) will be constituted as per law and the federal ministry will have no role in it.

Addressing a news conference in Washington, he said that officers of six institutions will be part of the JIT, clarifying that State Bank and Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) are not under the Ministry of Finance. He further said that meeting with US National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster was quite useful and issues including defence, Kashmir, India and Pakistan relations and war against terrorism were discussed in details. He said Pakistan army took actions against militants in areas bordering with Afghanistan, adding that we want Pakistan’s land shouldn’t be used against anyone.

Replying to a query about General (Retd) Raheel Sharif he said that there is no doubt in the appointment as he is retired and free to take decisions about himself. He was of the opinion that Pakistan’s economy remained stable in last four years and rupee was depreciated only 5 per cent against dollar.

Dar said that the meeting with IMF Country Director was fruitful saying that IMF program is no more needed as major companies are interested to invest in the country.

He said that report about Dawn leaks has been presented to the Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and would be implemented on recommendations of the commission. He further said that inquiry should be conducted how report got leaked to media, adding that no decision was made to remove Tariq Fatimi. He, however, said that talks are in the town about changing Tariq Fatimi’s designation.

The minister further said that maximum relief will be given to salaried class and common man in the next budget and no drastic taxes are under consideration. He expressed the hope that GDP growth over five percent will be achieved during the current fiscal year. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said Pakistan is making an impressive headway in financial & digital inclusion.

The Finance Minister also expressed the confidence that seven percent GDP growth will be achieved in the next year.

Ishaq Dar Minister said Pakistan Infrastructure Bank will be established with a sixty percent stake of IMF while Asian Development Bank has also expressed willingness to be part of this initiative. He said the bank will finance private sector for development projects.

Meanwhile, during a meeting with Director MCD IMF Jihad Azour and his team in Washington, Finance Minister briefed them about the economic reforms undertaken by the government.

He said the government is planning to channel private sector investment to infrastructure projects of Pakistan.

Director MCD IMF Jihad Azour observed that adhering to reforms process will protect Pakistan’s economy from shocks and help the government in achieving higher, sustainable and inclusive growth rate.