Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that the future of the nation cannot be put at stake for the International Monetary Fund (IMF). “It was due to the performance of the previous governments that we had to go to the IMF,” the minister said while talking to a private television channel on Tuesday. He maintained that Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz are responsible for pushing the country towards a deal with the IMF. “Now, we have taken measures [to overcome the situation]”, Qureshi maintained. “It isn’t the right thing to say whatever IMF says is right. It isn’t possible to accept every demand of the fund as it is,” he remarked. The minister admitted that the government took difficult measures during the first three years of its rule, which burdened the masses and added that the country needs to pay attention to its economic development. The minister blamed the PML-N for the tough conditions set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). “When PTI [Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf ] came to power, Pakistan had already gone into the [FAFT] grey list,” he added. He further said that Pakistan has fulfilled 27 conditions of the FATF and now, there are no grounds to keep Pakistan into the grey list. “Nations face pressures and we should bear this pressure [as well],” he said. A week ago, Federal Minister for Finance Shaukat Tarin ruled out any disagreement between Pakistan and IMF, saying that the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) programme would continue as both wanted it to move forward. “Both the government of Pakistan and the IMF want to continue the programme,” the minister said while talking to a news channel. Tarin said there was no danger of Pakistan coming out of the programme or its breakdown. Both sides will definitely evolve an understanding, as the way Pakistan has chosen for sustainable growth would eventually convince the IMF, he added. The finance minister noted that the government had asked the international money lender to observe the country’s economic performance for a couple of months and the outcome of the policies announced in the budget. In an ‘open challenge’, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Tuesday asked the government of India to hold a poll among the Kashmiris world over and get their opinion on the unilateral revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. “If Kashmiris around the world reject these unilateral measures as a result of this referendum, India will have to reconsider its decision,” the foreign minister said in his comments made at a private television channel. Qureshi said the Kashmiris, in any part of the world, were united against India’s illegal step taken on August 5, 2019. He said India’s announcement to convene an all-party conference on June 24 indicated that ‘everything was not alright’. On Afghanistan, the foreign minister said Pakistan as a neighbour wanted peace and stability. He said it could be a matter of concern if the talks with the Taliban remained stalled even after sixty percent of the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan. “Pakistan is ready for a partnership of peace and will not become part of any conflict,” he said. Qureshi said Pakistan would continue to play every possible role in advancing the Afghan reconciliation process. In this regard, he said, Pakistan was ready to discuss all issues including reconstruction of Afghanistan and dignified repatriation of Afghan refugees back to their homeland. On the economic situation of the country, he said, the government took several steps including prioritizing economic growth and job creation. He mentioned that businessmen, investors, industrialists and farmers also expressed their satisfaction over the budget, calling it a ray of hope for the national economy. The foreign minister said the incapability of Pakistan Muslim League (N) government landed the country into the grey-listing by Financial Action Task Force (FATF). He said the world was recognizing the steps taken by the government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf to curb money laundering and terror-financing – the areas totally ignored by the previous governments.