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Pakistan PM seeks loans to re-service debts, investments

RIYADH: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan (right) waiting to take part in a discussion with a presenter during the opening ceremony of the Future Investment Initiative FII conference taking place in Riyadh from 23-25 on October . — AFP

RIYADH: Pakistan is seeking loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and friendly countries to reservice debt and shore up its economy, Prime Minister Imran Khan said yesterday.

“What we are hoping is that we do a bit of both, get a loan from IMF and other loans from friendly governments,” Khan told an audience at an investment conference in Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh.

Islamabad has already asked the IMF to open negotiations for the country’s second potential bailout in five years. Khan, who took office in July, has also been seeking alternatives to the tough conditions the IMF is likely to impose for loans.

Khan is in Saudi Arabia for the second time this month seeking to shore up financial aid as the country reels from a looming balance of payments crisis. “One thing Pakistan needs more than any other country right now is peace and security,” Khan said yesterday. Imran said he had tried to extend hand of peace to India, had not received a response, but hoped to resume efforts to improve ties with India after national elections there.

In September, India called off the meeting between the nuclear-armed neighbors’ foreign ministers, planned for the sidelines of the UN General Assembly the same month.

Imran said the country also needs two oil refineries to meet demand, and it was talking to Saudi investors about the projects. Khan said Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was organizing a delegation of Saudi businessmen to invest in Pakistan. — AFP

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