Pakistani Army Chief Approaches US to Secure IMF Loan to Avert Default - Report

© AP Photo / Fareed KhanA laborer unload sacks of chickpeas at a market in Karachi, Pakistan, Thursday, July 14, 2022.
A laborer unload sacks of chickpeas at a market in Karachi, Pakistan, Thursday, July 14, 2022. - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.07.2022
This is Islamabad's second attempt in a week to gain Washington’s help to revive the country’s ailing economy, which is facing record inflation and a foreign exchange crisis. Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserve plummeted to approximately $8.5 billion, sustaining less than 45 days of imports.
Pakistan's Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa has reached out to the Biden administration to secure an early disbursal of loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Nikkei Asia claimed on Friday.

The report quoted unnamed sources as saying that Gen. Bajwa had appealed to the White House and the US Treasury Department to push IMF to disburse $1.2 billion of the total $6 billion bailout package that began in July 2019.

The general also urged Washington to persuade the US-backed lender to relax terms and conditions for the extended facility.
Tariq Fatemi, PM Shehbaz Sharif's special assistant on foreign affairs, appealed to US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman last Thursday to help "revive" the South Asian nation's economy.
Pakistani Finance Minister Miftah Ismail expressed confidence in the country's debt repayment capability, saying July data shows that foreign exchange earnings from exports eclipse the imports bill. However, high energy prices and a weakening national currency against the US dollar are pushing inflation to a decade high.
A Pakistani money changer counts US dollar bills in Islamabad, Pakistan, Friday, Nov. 30, 2018. - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.07.2022
Pakistan Won’t 'Default' on Foreign Debt, Says Finance Minister as Currency Hits New Low
For the past three years, Pakistan has been taking bits of help from partner countries like China, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia to prevent defaults on its foreign debt. Islamabad will have to pay nearly $21 billion in external obligations in the next 12 months, which is more than double its current foreign exchange reserves.
In June, Pakistan secured a $2.3 billion loan from China that will assist the South Asian country fight its economic emergency. So far, China has extended loans of up to $16.8 billion to Pakistan, making it the largest bilateral creditor of the country.
The IMF already granted Pakistan staff-level approval for the loan in question on July 13, and the South Asian nation is waiting for the final approval from the multilateral lender's executive board. However, the lender attached a string of conditions to its bailout package, including a "restraint" on budgetary spending, banking reforms, and removal of fuel subsidies.
PM Shehbaz Sharif, who replaced Imran Khan in April, argued that painstaking decisions are necessary to bring the economy onto a path to revival.
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