Crisis-hit Pakistan's army chief seeks U.S. help in quick release of … –

ISLAMABAD, July 29 (Reuters) – Pakistan's powerful army chief appealed to Washington to use its leverage to secure the early release of International Monetary Fund money, Pakistani sources said on Friday, as the South Asian nation struggles to stave off an economic crisis.
Pakistan's foreign office confirmed a phone conversation between U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and General Qamar Javed Bajwa, but did not provide details.
Islamabad and the IMF reached a staff-level agreement earlier this month to pave the way for the release of a tranche of $1.17 billion – but the lender is awaiting approval from its board, which is not scheduled to meet until late August. read more
Multiple Pakistani government sources told Reuters on the condition of anonymity that Bajwa asked the U.S. to help speed up the release with Pakistan faced with dwindling foreign exchange reserves and a free-falling currency.
The contact was first reported by Nikkei Asia.
"Yes, our army chief reached out the Americans," one of the sources said, adding Bajwa talked by phone to Sherman earlier this week.
"We can't say what was the Americans' response but we think it is a good move to make at this critical stage," the source said.
The source said the military had to take the initiative when several backdoor moves from the civilian side did not yield immediate results. Pakistan's army has long had an influential role in policy matters in Pakistan.
A State Department spokesperson said that, “U.S. officials talk to Pakistani officials regularly on a range of issues. As standard practice, we don’t comment on the specifics of private diplomatic conversations.”
The United States is the largest shareholder in the IMF.
Washington has over the years worked closely with Pakistani army chiefs alongside civilian governments.
The military's public relations wing, finance ministry, information ministry and the IMF local representative did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.
The IMF board's approval would also unlock other avenues of finances for Pakistan.
High commodity prices have hit Pakistan hard. The current account deficit soared to over $17 billion in the last financial year compared to under $3 billion in the previous period. Reserves have dropped to dangerous levels, covering under two months of imports.
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Tanzania's economy is expected to grow faster this year compared with a year earlier, but performance could be dampened by effects of the war in Ukraine, Finance Minister Mwigulu Nchemba said in a letter to the International Monetary Fund.
The U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp has asked banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co and PNC Financial Services Group to submit final bids for First Republic Bank by Sunday after gauging their initial interest earlier in the week, Bloomberg News reported on Saturday.
India's financial crime-fighting agency said on Saturday it had raided three premises of billionaire Byju Raveendran, the founder and CEO of education platform Byju's, over suspected breaches of the country's foreign exchange laws.
Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest multimedia news provider, reaching billions of people worldwide every day. Reuters provides business, financial, national and international news to professionals via desktop terminals, the world's media organizations, industry events and directly to consumers.
Build the strongest argument relying on authoritative content, attorney-editor expertise, and industry defining technology.
The most comprehensive solution to manage all your complex and ever-expanding tax and compliance needs.
The industry leader for online information for tax, accounting and finance professionals.
Access unmatched financial data, news and content in a highly-customised workflow experience on desktop, web and mobile.
Browse an unrivalled portfolio of real-time and historical market data and insights from worldwide sources and experts.
Screen for heightened risk individual and entities globally to help uncover hidden risks in business relationships and human networks.
All quotes delayed a minimum of 15 minutes. See here for a complete list of exchanges and delays.
© 2023 Reuters. All rights reserved


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top