It was revealed on Sunday by a government official that Pakistan can acquire oil from Russia on a deferred payment basis, following a meeting between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the margins of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Samarkand.
Read more: PM Shehbaz meets Putin in Uzbekistan-SCO summit
The opposition, former government of PTI, kept on highlighting the importance of importing oil from Russia in order to cope with the skyrocketing oil prices.
Now, as the development surfaced, PTI members are criticizing the PDM government for not listening to them in time. Former Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin said in a tweet, “Miftah Sahib, why didn’t you listen to us five months ago? The poor people of Pakistan have suffered because of your callous attitude towards your own people. Cheaper fuel would have reduced overall inflation and sufferings in the country. Shameful.”
Miftah Sahib, Why didn’t you listen to us five months ago? The poor people of Pakistan have suffered because of your callous attitude towards your own people. Cheaper fuel would have reduced overall inflation and sufferings in the country. Shameful. https://t.co/seu0R39Jbu
— Shaukat Tarin (@shaukat_tarin) September 18, 2022
PTI Spokesperson on Economy and Finance Muzammil Aslam also shared his remarks on the said development. “The PDM govt always claimed that we can’t process Russian oil. Suddenly, how come they got the refinery to process Russian oil? Secondly, why they took 5 months to negotiate already damage is done,” he tweeted.
Read more: Petroleum imports increased by 30pc in August-AHL
However, when asked if there was any plan on the table for purchasing oil from Russia at a concessional price, the official refuted the previous government’s claims.
As per details, Russia has shown interest in considering the proposal.
If the proposal is implemented, it will be a significant development for Pakistan as it buys oil from Gulf countries and has previously received oil on deferred payment from Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Given the probable opposition from the United States, it is unclear whether the government can pursue the option.
Former Prime Minister Imran Khan has often accused the United States of orchestrating his resignation in April. Imran said that he was punished for pursuing a “independent foreign policy,” specifically his efforts to strengthen ties with Russia. The US has consistently denied involvement in Pakistan’s internal affairs.
According to observers, the recent conversation between Shehbaz and Putin disproved such conspiracy notions.
The transcript given by Russia following the meeting between Shehbaz and Putin gave no indication if Moscow was unwilling to work with the new government, which Imran and his supporters have labelled as a “puppet” of the US.
Putin invited Prime Minister Shehbaz to visit Moscow, emphasizing Russia’s priority in Southeast Asia and Asia overall.