Saudi assistance will help Pakistan reduce International Monetary Fund burden: PM Imran

Posted October 24, 2018

In his latest tweet, PTI leader and Senator Faisal Javed Khan said that the prime minister will take the nation in confidence on his recent visit to Saudi Arabia.

Pakistani shares soared 3.3 per cent in early trading on Wednesday after overnight news that staunch ally Saudi Arabia has offered a $6 billion rescue package for the economy.

Pakistan has not dropped the idea of seeking assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) despite Saudi Arabia offering United States dollars 6 billion aid package to mitigate pressure on the cash-strapped country's foreign exchange reserves, officials said on Wednesday.

This has come a day after India slammed Imran Khan's tweet about Kashmir saying that Pakistan should look inwards and address its own issues.

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The agreement was reached during Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan's visit to Riyadh to attend the Future Investment Initiative conference.

It came as Pakistan's new Prime Minister Imran Khan attended the high-profile 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 - a slaying that has shocked the worldwide community. "The reason I feel I have to avail myself of this opportunity [to speak to the Saudi leadership] is because in a country of 210 million people right now we have the worst debt crisis in our history", he said.

The general elections are due to be held in India next year.

"It was also agreed that a one year deferred payment facility for import of oil, up to Dollars 3 Billion, will be provided by Saudi Arabia".

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PM Khan's government has sought loans from allies such as China and Saudi Arabia, promised to recover funds stolen by corrupt officials, and embarked on a series of high-profile populist austerity measures.

He said the assistance provided by Saudi Arabia has lessened the financial burden on Pakistan, adding that they were thankful to Riyadh for helping them in a hard time.

And there are strong indications that top Saudi leadership - Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in particular - has been involved in the killing. At the end of one year, it's to be returned to Saudi Arabia.

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. "We wait for whatever the Saudi explanation is", he was quoted as saying.

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