Will seek IMF bailout in Nov, Pak finance ministry says despite Saudi financial assistance

WION Web Team Pakistan Oct 24, 2018, 12.00 PM(IST)

File photo: Pakistan PM Imran Khan. Photograph:( AFP )

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'Yes, We are going ahead into program negotiations with (IMF) in first week of November,' Noor Ahmed, spokesman for Pakistan's finance ministry, told Reuters.

A day after Pakistan announced Saudi's assent to provide rescue aid to it, the country on Wednesday clarified that it still plans to seek a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

"Yes, we are going ahead into program negotiations with (IMF) in first week of November," Noor Ahmed, spokesman for Pakistan's finance ministry, told Reuters.

Islamabad on Tuesday said that Saudi Arabi had agreed to give Pakistan $3 billion in foreign currency support for a year and a further loan worth up to $3 billion in deferred payments for oil imports to help revive the country looming under economic crisis.

The agreement was announced as the new Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan attended a Saudi investment conference in Riyadh on Tuesday.

The conference had been boycotted by several other leaders over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the country's consulate in Istanbul.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had said earlier that the country was "desperate" for the financial assistance. 

In an interview to journalists on October 20, PM Imran Khan was reported as saying that even though Pakistan was concerned about the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, they were "desperate" for financial help from Saudi Arabia.

The existence of the interview was however later denied by the special assistant to Pakistan's Prime Minister, Naeem ul Haque.

Khan who is currently in Riyadh is on his second visit to Saudi Arabia in just over a month.