Got 'big' aid from China; won't reveal amount under instructions from President Xi: Imran Khan

Imran Khan. Photograph:( AFP )

PTI Islamabad, Pakistan Nov 17, 2018, 09.42 AM (IST)

Pakistan has received a "big" package of aid from its all-weather ally, China, Prime Minister Imran Khan said Friday, but will not reveal the quantum of financial support as President Xi Jinping has asked him not to reveal it, a media report said.

PM Khan made his maiden visit to Beijing earlier this month and met President Xi and Premier Li Keqiang and other Chinese leaders and sought aid to overcome the financial woes faced by his cash-strapped government.

The Pakistan government is facing grave economic challenges as it struggles to avoid a financial crisis and keep the economy afloat.

During an interaction with journalists at the PM House, Khan said that Pakistan has received a "big" package of aid from China but will not reveal it, Geo News quoted Khan as saying.

The prime minister said he did not want to reveal the quantum of aid from Beijing as other countries will start demanding more money from China, the report said.

Chinese President Xi has asked Khan not to announce the quantum of financial support, the Geo News report quoted the Pakistani prime minister as saying. 

Unlike Saudi Arabia, which has announced a USD 6 billion aid package to Pakistan, Beijing has not revealed the quantum of its financial aid to Islamabad.

After his talks with Khan on November 3, Premier Li said China will provide the "necessary support" to Pakistan to tide over the present financial crisis. 

Speaking about his recent trip to China, Khan said, "Concrete results of my visit are beginning to show. We are receiving all forms of aid from China and are satisfied."

"No other previous premiers' tours to China were as successful as mine was," he claimed. 

Khan, whose government is currently negotiating a bailout package with the International Monetary Fund, appeared confident that Pakistan's economy will overcome the current difficulties by next year.

"The next three to six months are difficult but from next year onward our economic situation is going to improve significantly and we will be on the right track," he said.

Commenting on the ongoing money-laundering probe and the foreign assets owned by Pakistanis, Imran said, "We have traced USD 15 billion that was sent to Dubai from Pakistan."

"Work is underway to bring back looted wealth," he added. "We have also signed agreements with Britain and Switzerland," he said. 

While speaking about his party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's decision to not give chairmanship of Public Accounts Committee to the Leader of the Opposition, Shehbaz Sharif, Khan said, "Those facing corruption cases cannot be appointed PAC chairperson."

"We will not appoint Shehbaz Sharif as PAC chairperson under any circumstances," he asserted. 

Shehbaz, the younger brother of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and ex-chief minister of Punjab province, is currently in the custody of the National Accountability Bureau on charges of corruption linked to a housing scheme. 

Story highlights

PM Khan made his maiden visit to Beijing earlier this month and met President Xi and Premier Li Keqiang and other Chinese leaders and sought aid to overcome the financial woes faced by his cash-strapped government.