Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Pakistan gets $6 billion from Saudis, still needs International Monetary Fund loan

PM Imran Khan PM Imran Khan
Elsie Buchanan | 24 October, 2018, 20:15

Khan's meeting with Saudi King Salman and his powerful Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman resulted in the singing of agreement to provide Pakistan USD 3 billion to support balance of payment and give oil worth USD 3 billion on deferred payments.

Local news organizations quoted Khan as saying that Pakistan could not afford to boycott the conference, although he did denounce the killing of Khashoggi.

Saudi Arabia has reposed its confidence on the "sagacious, dynamic and scintillating" leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan by offering a $12 billion package to help the country's address it's financial crunch, said SAARC Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President and United Business Group Chairman Iftikhar Ali Malik.

But they said that Pakistan's bargaining position was strengthened after the Saudi commitments.

Malik said, "We are proud that the nation elected the "impeccable" Imran Khan as its PM because he possessed inborn leadership abilities necessary to steer the country out of crisis". The Pakistani federal government will proceed with negotiations after consultations with the local government in Balochistan, the Pakistani province where much of the country's mineral resources are found, the report says.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, speaks in front of a screen displaying his national flag during the opening of the Future Investment Initiative conference, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018.

Disagreement on Irish border can sink talks : Top EU official
It says any "hard border" infrastructure on its frontier with the British province of the island would revive sectarian conflict. Another meeting planned for next month has been postponed until "significant" progress has been made.


Khan had said before departing that his country is "desperate" to shore up its foreign currency reserves, which are at a four-year low, equivalent to less than two months' imports and barely enough to make its debt repayments through the rest of the year.

Khan is due to travel to China in the first week of November, where he is expected to seek further assistance.

The $6 billion package, combining a $3 billion loan to shore up Pakistan's depleting foreign currency reserves and $3 billion in deferred oil payments, far exceeded analyst expectations of what Saudi Arabia would offer.

But help has been in short supply and economists' warnings have grown increasingly urgent.

The assistance package will put Pakistan in a better bargaining position going into negotiations with the International Monetary Fund, said Tariq Yousuf Khan, an economics professor in the southern port city of Karachi.

Saudi Arabia's high-profile Future Investment Initiative - nicknamed "Davos in the Desert" - saw partners and worldwide allies withdraw after it emerged that Khashoggi, who had been critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed inside the Saudi embassy in Istanbul on 2 October.

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