Pakistan, IMF close to strike deal

             <p>By Islamuddin Sajid</p>    <p>ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AA) - Pakistan and International Monetary Fund is close to sign a deal on bailout package, local media reported on Monday.</p>    <p>“Its seems we have come closer to an agreement with the IMF and this will be the last agreement with it,” the local daily Geo News quoted the Finance Minister Asad Umar as saying in his address of businessmen in northwestern Peshawar city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. </p>  <p>&quot;The IMF has changed its position and now differences between both side has been decreased,&quot; Umar said.</p>    <p>He also said the new government is strengthening trade ties with neighbors including Iran and Afghanistan, adding recent works on a strategic economic draft to strengthen economic ties with Turkey.</p>    <p>Umar made the announcement a day after the Prime Minister Imran Khan met IMF chief Christine Lagarde on the sidelines of the World Government Summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.</p>    <p>&quot;In my meeting today with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, there was a convergence of our views on the need to carry out deep structural reforms to put the country on the path of sustainable development in which the most vulnerable segments of society are protected&quot; Khan tweeted after his meeting with IMF chairwoman.</p>    <p>Last year, Pakistan approached the money watchdog for the second time over the last five years after the country faced serious financial challenges.</p>    <p>However, Pakistan refused to accept the tough conditions laid down by the IMF for bailout package during their two week-long talks in November 2018 in the capital Islamabad.</p><br>