The Pakistan Army Chief has approached Washington to request help in ensuring early disbursement of the loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
According to a media reports, Nikkei Asia wrote that ‘dwindling foreign reserves’ have created chaos in Islamabad to avoid default.
The report added that General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s phone call to the US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman was part of Pakistan’s efforts to avoid default.
Meanwhile, in the weekly media briefing at the Foreign Office, spokesperson Asim Iftikhar said that only the media wing of the Pakistan Army (ISPR) can tell about the details of the conversation between the Army Chief and the US Deputy Foreign secretary, we cannot say whether economy was discussed or not.
When some media persons contacted for confirmation, a spokesperson the US State Department said, “US officials regularly discuss a range of issues with Pakistani officials, but as per standard procedure, we do not comment on the details of private diplomatic discussions.”
Nikkei Asia reported that General Qamar Javed Bajwa appealed to the White House and the Treasury Department to urge the IMF to provide about $1.2 billion immediately.
The report said the current Pakistani government does not have much credibility or political capital beyond Islamabad and faces constant pressure from ousted rival Imran Khan.
No meeting of IMF Board due to the vacation
The IMF had approved the staff level with Pakistan on July 13 for providing the loan. The disbursement of this multilateral loan was to be implemented after the final approval by the Executive Board. There will be no meeting of the IMF Board due to the vacation of the next three weeks.
An IMF official said on condition of anonymity that no firm date has been set for the announcement of loan approval for Pakistan.
Time is of the essence for Islamabad as the rupee has been depreciating against the dollar, and the country’s foreign reserves have dwindled to less than $9 billion, covered by two months’ worth of import bills.