Monday February 06, 2023

IMF programme: COAS reaches out to UAE, Saudi authorities

Gen Bajwa requested White House and Treasury Department to urge lender to expedite bailout process, revealed sources

By News Desk
August 06, 2022
COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa.— AFP
COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa.— AFP

ISLAMABAD: Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa has spoken with the authorities of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, Geo News reported.

The International Monetary Fund loan programme reportedly came under discussion and a positive development is expected soon for Pakistan. It comes days after Nikkei Asia reported that Gen Bajwa appealed to the United States to help Islamabad secure an early dispersal of $1.2 billion in funds under the IMF programme to avert the risk of debt default.

According to the report, the army chief reached out to the US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman on a phone call, sources from both the US and Pakistan revealed to the publication’s correspondent Wajahat S Khan, on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak publicly.

The sources revealed that Gen Bajwa requested the White House and Treasury Department to urge the lender to expedite the bailout process and immediately release the nearly $1.2 billion that Pakistan expects to receive under the resumed loan programme.

Pakistan and the IMF reached a staff-level agreement over the release of the funds to support the country’s fragile economy. The staff-level agreement will pave the way for the $1.2 billion disbursement, which is expected this month after the board approves it.

In a related development, Pakistan has completed the last precondition for the combined seventh and eighth reviews, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Tuesday, adding that a board meeting is tentatively scheduled for late August once adequate financing assurances are confirmed. Esther Perez Ruiz, the IMF’s Resident Representative for Pakistan, confirmed the last prior action in a statement sent to the media.