There is hope that if countries like Saudi Arabia and China help, financial assistance from IMF may not be required.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will soon embark on state-level visits to three countries with an eye on getting much-needed financial aid to take his country's economy out of doldrums.
Dawn reported that Imran would first visit Saudi Arabia on Monday, followed by a visit to Malaysia later in the month. He would also go to China early next month and is expected to raise the issue of financial aid for Pakistan in each of these countries considered as friendly.
Pakistan has already approached the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout package but the US has made it clear that using IMF funds to repay Chinese debts won't be acceptable. As such, any help from IMF is still under a cloud of doubt although officials are expected in Islamabad in early November to discuss the terms of the request made. "If we get good monetary support from our friendly countries, then there is a possibility that we will not require the support of IMF, " a member of the federal cabinet was quoted as saying.
Assistance from countries like Saudi Arabia and China could, therefore, be crucial although a Pakistani minister had previously claimed that deal was already done for $10 billion with Riyadh earlier. Information minister Fawad Chaudhry's claim was rejected by the country's finance minister Asad Umar who said that no secret deal would be done with any country.
Pakistan is in dire need of billions of dollars to restructure its economy. And this is by the admission of Umar himself. The government under Imran, who took oath on August 18, has begin an austerity drive and has even asked non-resident Pakistanis to do their bit.