Pakistan out of pressure thanks to aid from Saudi: Imran Khan

26 October, 2018, 06:04 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • PM Imran Khan

Pakistan stocks rallied, experiencing its best single-day gain on record, after Saudi Arabia provided a $6 billion bailout to support the country's sever account imbalances, Arab News reports.

Long-time allies Islamabad and Riyadh signed the loan agreement as Pakistan's recently elected Prime Minister Imran Khan attended the high-profile worldwide investment conference despite calls from Pakistani human rights activists to boycott the venue in protest of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Khan's speech comes after Pakistan announced that they secured loans to the tune of United States dollars 6 billion in talks held with Saudi Arabia on the sidelines of the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh.

Sources in the Finance Ministry said that Pakistan needed about $10 billion in the current fiscal year to support its imports and to repay foreign debts.

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Pakistan says Saudi Arabia will provide a $6 billion package of loans and deferred payments in an effort to resuscitate Islamabad's flagging economy, struggling under the weight of a whopping $18 billion deficit.

According to the agreement, Riyadh will place a deposit of $3 billion for a period of one year as balance-of-payment support. He said the government has also facilitated mechanism for foreign remittances.

He said: "Government is also endeavoring to reform our institutions to check the menace of corruption in mega development projects and white collar crimes". They said that a high-level UAE delegation will arrive in Pakistan on October 26 to discuss investment opportunities, while Khan will visit China in the first week of November to seek business and investment as well as explore financial assistance. An IMF mission is scheduled to visit Islamabad on Nov 7 for talks on the size of the loan facility that Pakistan could be requiring. "We're desperate at the moment", he said.

The Ministry of External Affairs stated that the decision was taken to protest against the killing of security personnel in Kashmir and a Pakistani postage stamp that, it said, was "glorifying" a terrorist.

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It has also offered to act as a mediator to reduce hostilities between the Sunni and the Shiite power.

The IMF has already said that it will seek "absolute transparency" from Pakistan and austerity measures seem to be in the order.

About the financial assistance, Khan said he was receiving encouraging response from friends of Pakistan and believed that two of the countries would give similar financial help as Saudi Arabia has pledged.

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