Pakistan to seek IMF loans to help hold up economy

By Aamir Latif

KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) – A cash-strapped Pakistan has announced it is going to approach the International Monitory Fund to prop up the country’s tottering economy.

Finance Minister Asad Umar in a video message on Monday evening announced the much-expected decision, which is seen as the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government’s only viable option to address the mounting balance of payments crisis.

“Prime Minister Imran Khan after consultation with all the stakeholders and economic experts has given the go-ahead to open talks with the IMF for a bailout program," said Umar, a longtime opponent of borrowing from abroad.

Though he did not specify the amount Pakistan will seek, local media cited anonymous Finance Ministry officials saying that the IMF is likely to approve a $10 billion bailout package.

“The negotiations will aim to reach a stabilization recovery program, which can be used to tackle the economic crisis,” said Umar.

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