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Pakistan

Web Desk
February 10, 2019

PM Imran to meet IMF chief for crucial talks on bailout

Pakistan

Web Desk
Sun, Feb 10, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is in Dubai to attend  the the World Government Summit, will meet the chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde for talks on issues which have held up bailout negotiations.

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry  on Saturday said that PM would meet IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde on the sidelines of a summit in Dubai on Sunday, adding: "This will give the government a chance to understand the IMF views and we will be able to give our version to (Lagarde)." 

Fawad Chaudhry, who will accompany Khan to Dubai along with Finance Minister Asad Umar, said Pakistan wants any agreed bailout package to be its last such economic rescue by IMF.

He added: "The problem is not the (IMF) deal, the problem is the condition attached to the deal."

"We don't want conditions that hurt Pakistan's growth prospects. We want a fair deal that can actually help Pakistan in the short term, without affecting our long-term economic goals."

Officials had expected the talks to conclude last November but they have been delayed due to concerns on the side of the Pakistani government that the program could derail Khan's plans for his term in office. The IMF's demands could threaten Khan’s campaign promise to build an Islamic welfare state.

Last October, Khan said the country might need to return to the IMF to address its mounting balance of payments crisis and economic woes. Pakistan has in the meantime sought financial assistance from some so-called friendly countries to ease the pressure on its dwindling foreign currency reserves.

In his key note address at The World Government Summit in Dubai, PM Khan will underscore Pakistan’s strong interest in the knowledge economy, artificial intelligence, green development and the importance of innovation for growth. He  would also  highlight his vision for a strong and prosperous Pakistan to  encourage investment in the different sectors of Pakistan economy. The prime minister will also meet the UAE leadership.

It is learnt that  Imran Khan will also hold separate talks with Sheikh Muhammad bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of the of Dubai.