Pak Army Chief Contacts Saudi Arabia And The UAE For Important Bailout Package: Report
It is believed that Pakistan has been asked by the IMF to provide firm guarantees that its allies will contribute USD 4 billion to meet its external needs.
Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa has reportedly contacted Saudi Arabia and the UAE in an effort to secure financial assistance for the cash-strapped country, days after asking the US for assistance in securing an early release of a crucial USD 1.7 billion instalment from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to Pakistan, according to a media report on Saturday.
The IMF wants Pakistan to make sure it receives a commitment from its allies for financial support as the IMF Executive Board prepares to meet later this month to formally approve the next tranche of USD 1.2 billion instalment, according to the Express Tribune newspaper.
It is thought that the IMF has asked Pakistan to give unequivocal guarantees that its allies will contribute USD 4 billion to meet its external needs.
According to the report, Pakistan is in negotiations to provide the required funding with important allies like Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and China.
Shehbaz Sharif, the prime minister of Pakistan, visited Saudi Arabia in April, but he came back empty-handed because Riyadh had not made any firm promises.
The UAE also resisted providing assistance.
The UAE offered to buy Pakistani shares and assets rather than giving loans.
In light of this, the army is alleged to have requested financial assistance from Saudi Arabian and UAE authorities, according to the report.
According to a statement released by the Pakistan Army’s media wing on Friday, UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan called General Bajwa and offered his condolences for the tragic loss of life caused by the helicopter crash in Lasbela.
On the other hand, it made no mention of any discussions involving financial assistance for Pakistan.
The most recent development occurred a few days after Bajwa reportedly requested assistance from Washington for an early meeting of the IMF Executive Board in a phone call to Wendy Sherman, the deputy secretary of state for the United States, in July last week.
According to sources in the Pakistan Army cited by the state-run news agency Associated Press of Pakistan (APP), Bajwa spoke with Sherman over the phone and also pleaded with the White House and the US Treasury Department to pressure the IMF to swiftly expedite the roughly USD 1.2 billion loan.
The Foreign Office had, however, pretended not to know about the two.
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