Pakistan calls on IMF for bailout, China has advice for global lender

Written by October 16, 2018 07:53

New Delhi: China on Tuesday said the global lender IMF should “objectively and professionally” evaluate its planned investments in Pakistan to ensure that any financial package does not affect close ties between Beijing and Islamabad.

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Cash-strapped Pakistan has approached  IMF

According to the media reports, cash-strapped Pakistan has approached the International Monetary Fund or IMF for a bailout, and has agreed to share the details of huge Chinese loans obtained for the CPEC project.

Pakistan’s Finance Minister Asad Umar told media on Sunday that Islamabad is ready to share details of the debt related to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor or CPEC with the IMF as he formally sought a bailout package from the international lender.

Reacting to the move by its all-weather ally Pakistan to approach the IMF for the bailout package, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said, “As a member of the IMF, China supports the organization having cooperation with Pakistan in objectively and professionally evaluating the situation on the ground in Pakistan.”

IMF team is scheduled to arrive in Pakistan on Nov 7

“Also, we support the IMF (helping Pakistan) in coping with the current difficulties. Their measures shall not affect normal bilateral cooperation between China and Pakistan,” he said, adding the CPEC projects have been undertaken by the two governments under the principle of “consultation and contribution for shared benefits”.

Umar landed in Islamabad on Sunday after meeting IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde in Indonesia for a bailout package for Pakistan. He said the decision to approach the global lender was taken after consultations with friendly countries.

An IMF team is scheduled to arrive in Pakistan on November 7 to negotiate the programme, likely to cover a period of three years, Mr Umar said.

The Chinese official said that judging from the debt structure already released by the Pakistani government, their debt incurred from the CPEC is not high. “So, it is not the reason for Pakistan’s financial difficulties,” he said.