Defence Minister Khawaja Asif Thursday reiterated concerns over the autonomy granted to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) during the PTI-led government’s tenure. In the wake of the previous government’s agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for reviving its $6-billion loan, it had committed to granting autonomous status to the central bank. For this purpose, the SBP Act, 1956 was amended through the SBP (Amendment) Act, 2021, for enhanced central bank autonomy, price stability, and accountability. But Asif told a private TV channel that he still believes the laws that the previous government amended to meet the IMF’s conditions were still wrong and needed to be reserved. The defence minister said former prime minister Imran Khan had “sold out” Pakistan’s economic sovereignty to the United States, as Washington has the most shares in the IMF. “IMF is an institution in which America has a lot of stakes as it is the largest shareholder. Imran Khan sold out our economic sovereignty to them as he handed over our central bank – our bank of the last resort – to the IMF,” he said.