in Pakistan by IMF Official Sidelined by IMF-DC, Belated Investigation
June 3, updated -- The IMF, despite claims of increased transparency,
picks and chooses which press questions to answer or even
acknowledge. Based on recent evidence, those excluded involve poorer
countries, and the IMF's own scandals.
May 26, Inner City Press asked the IMF in writing "how
the violence in Jamaica impact the IMF's program with the
country, and on the IMF's view of the country's economic prospects?"
But the IMF never answered, even when the question was repeated.
during the IMF's June 3 fortnightly press briefing, Inner City Press
submitted the question, plus one about charges against the IMF's
Resident Representative in Pakistan, Paul Ross. But the IMF's David
Hawley, while taking other online questions, never mentioned these
after the abbreviated IMF briefing, an IMF staffer belatedly offered
answers, but only to the Jamaica question. It was as if the Pakistan
question about Mr. Paul Ross was never asked, simply did not exist.
the Jamaica answer, then the Pakistan question and background:
Jamaica, you can attribute the following to an IMF
spokesperson: 'We remain confident in the government’s economic
program and its desire to implement the measures it has set out in
platitude have been issued back on May 26? Or did the IMF not have
confidence at that time?
Inner City Press twice submitted:
Pakistan, what would be the IMF's view of a 7% power tariff increase?
Please provide IMF comment on the legal status of Pakistan Res Rep
Paul Ross, and IMF position on domestic abuse."
the IMF has
previously deigned to answer questions about Pakistan power tariffs,
once complained with a question about the accountability of the IMF's
own officials, suddenly it is as if the question was never asked at
IMF's Paul Ross and wife Deena Shahata, accountability not shown
From the Guardian:
British IMF chief over 'wife assault'
head of the International Monetary Fund in Islamabad has been
accused of assaulting his wife by having her removed from the family
home but he cannot be charged due to his “diplomatic immunity”
28, claims she was “manhandled” and forced from her home
by her husband Paul Ross, but police were unable to do anything
because of her husband’s job status.
married in July 2007 and moved to Pakistan a year later when
Mr Ross, 51, from Wembley, was appointed the IMF’s Resident
Representative in Pakistan, in charge of an $11 billion (£7.5
billion) economic stabilisation programme.
such posts usually carry a United Nations diplomatic passport.
marriage allegedly broke down and Miss Shehata said she
returned to their home — a smart two-storey villa, protected by
guards and barbed wire, in an area of the city popular with wealthy
expats — on Friday to collect some of her belongings. She alleges
that her husband grew impatient before forcing her out of the house.
was humiliated as my husband asked our guards to remove me from my
own home,” she wrote in a statement for police.
report detailed bruises, cuts and grazes and concluded she
was “mentally depressed over [the] trauma, she is feeling
helplessness and is scared.”
a British-born academic, said she was desperate to leave
Pakistan as soon as possible.
she was disappointed at the way police handled the case, and
that appeals for help to the IMF had not helped her find justice.
best solution they have is to get me out of here quickly and safely,”
she said, adding that the system seemed to want her removed from the
scene like a “broken toy” rather than questioning her husband.
Abbas, the police officer dealing with the case said that
as soon as they found out that Mr Ross had diplomatic status they
abandoned the case. He said they took a statement from Miss Shehata
and did not investigate any further.
supporters said yesterday that they would take the case
to Pakistan’s ministry of foreign affairs.
a human rights lawyer, said: “This is an issue where
there must not and should not be immunity for diplomats or any man.”
held a UN special rapporteur post. So perhaps if the IMF won't even
comment, the issue can be pursued through the UN, including on the
question Laissez Passer passports. Watch this site.
or cherry picking online questions appears to be a hallmark
of Mr. Hawley. He took no online questions, including one Inner City
Press submitted about Pakistan, on February 18
of this year. The Sri Lanka
question submitted was never answered. And so it goes at the IMF --
-- after expiration of the IMF's embargo and publication of the story
above, the IMF belatedly provided a one line answer, and no explanation
of why the question was barred from the briefing itself:
for your inquiry as regards Pakistan. You can attribute the
answer below to an IMF spokesperson: 'We take any allegations related
to staff conduct seriously and the Fund’s independent Ethics
Advisor is investigating the facts.'"
IMF on Zim,
Backtracks on Greece, Rebuffs Questions About Pakistan, Gbagbo, Lanka
February 18, updated
-- The IMF board will vote tomorrow on
Zimbabwe's request to regain voting rights, the IMF's David Hawley
said at the organization's biweekly media briefing on February 18.
any online questions, Hawley fielded repeated questions about Greece,
essentially backing away from Dominique
blustered about the IMF being ready to intervene. Pundits says the
Europeans want to keep the IMF out -- Germany because it wants to
retain the centrality of a European process it is about to head,
France's Sarkozy because he does not want Strauss-Kahn to become any
more prominent before the 2012 elections.
IMF preaches to developing and troubled countries, it
cannot comply with its commitment to conduct an online media briefing
every two weeks. On February 18, the IMF's David Hawley presided over
an ill-attended session in the organization's new briefing room.
colleague Caroline Atkinson had inaugurated the room by saying it
should make online participation easier and more seamless. But on
February 18, despite online questions being submitted by Inner City
Press and surely others, Mr. Hawley did not acknowledge or answer a
single online question. Nor in the twenty minutes between the briefing
the expiration of the IMF's embargo did the IMF answer a request for
an explanation of the freeze-out.
questions Inner City Press submitted:
On Pakistan, does
the IMF's recent
announcement mean that the bank supervision and power tariff goals
have been met?
how does the
IMF view the suspension of the government and further delay of
elections by Laurent Gbagbo?
in Sri Lanka, what is the IMF's thinking on the EU's
suspension of the GSP Plus tariff treatment, and/or the arrest of
opposition politician Sarath Fonseka?
IMF's Strauss-Kahn, online questions rebuffed, coy on campaign
other matters, Hawley said he would not speculate or comment about the
Central Banks. Fine -- but why can't the IMF, despite the spending on
its new briefing room, manage to acknowledge and answer online
questions about its operations? Watch this site.
Footnote: While the
IMF took some online questions on February 4, after Ms. Atkinson said
the IMF would provide an answer about Yemen, none has been provided in
the fortnight since...
publication at embargo time of the report above, the IMF
indirectly justified its refusal to even acknowledge the three online
Three online questions ignored at 930 "online"
briefing, please explain and answer, thanks
Date: Thu, Feb 18, 2010
To: Inner City Press,
"Atkinson, Caroline, Hawley, David
asked the press officers to review your questions and get back
to you where possible. Most of the questions contained stuff that
fell far afield of the IMF's role or mandate. So where we can answer
we will, but a big chunk of your questions could be better answered
by institutions not focused on financial and macroeconomic issues.
As linked to in the questions above, the IMF
has a team in Sri Lanka, has opined on power
tariffs and bank
supervision in Pakistan -- in fact, Inner City Press got answers on
those questions on a previous IMF conference call -- and is
attempt to portray itself as divorced from politics, conditionality,
and governance is ham-handed and illegitimate. It is not for the IMF to
decide which questions to
acknowledge or not. Or, who in the IMF makes these decisions, and on
what basis? Watch this site.
Update -- after the
IMF's embargo expired, and after the above was published, responses
came in to two of the three above questions, which the IMF had tried to
argue somehow where not relevant:
The following statement can be
attributed to Adnan Mazarei, mission chief for Pakistan:
strengthen the effectiveness of banking supervision in Pakistan are
proceeding as envisaged. The parliament is discussing amendments to
the banking law. The lower house has approved the amendments and they
are being discussed by the upper house. Electricity reform is also
proceeding, but somewhat slower than planned earlier due to delays in
implementing certain tariff adjustments.
Olga Stankova, Sr. Press Officer
Further to your question on Côte d’Ivoire, I’m afraid it’s
still too early to say. You can attribute the following to me if it’s
“The IMF, through its
representative, continues to monitor the situation in Côte
d’Ivoire. It is
too early to assess any impact on the authorities’ IMF-supported
Officer - External Relations Department
Apparently the question about Sri Lanka, where the IMF current has a
team on the ground, was deemed even less IMF relevant that this. Watch