Irresponsible words.

ISHAQ Dar's clarification that the government doesn't plan to seize foreign currency stocks held with the commercial banks should put paid to widespread speculations that he ever intended to 'freeze' private citizens' dollar accounts as he had done in the wake of US sanctions following Pakistan's nuclear tests in 1998. The finance minister's remarks came days after his statement that Pakistan's foreign exchange reserves stood at $10bn - a much higher number than the central bank's reserves of $4.5bn - as 'dollars held by the banks also belonged to the country'. That had fuelled rumours that the declining SBP forex reserves may force the government to confiscate private foreign currency accounts to avert a default. He assured the public that nothing of the sort would happen. Elaborating, he rightly said it was a practice to include in the national foreign exchange reserves the foreign exchange held both with the central banks and the commercial banks, and give a breakdown.

Speaking at a press conference alongside the prime minister, Mr Dar said his statement was 'twisted by those who had destroyed the country's economy in the last four years'. There is every possibility of the opposition giving his remarks a spin that would undermine the government. But the nation's...

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