Pakistan is locked in “difficult negotiations” with the International Monetary Fund over its 13th bailout package since the 1980s. If an agreement is not reached soon, Pakistan will find it difficult to get international loans as its credit rating will deteriorate. Analysts aware of recent developments told Middle East Eye that Saudi Arabia has offered new interest-bearing loans and investment terms to Pakistan while implementing stricter monetary and fiscal reforms, including a sharp reduction in the current account deficit. These are similar to the terms of the IMF.
Pakistan’s army chief is also ‘neutralised’
Umar Karim, associate fellow at the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies, said Pakistani officials were in a state of shock. Karim told MEE that till now Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries used to come forward to help Pakistan on a phone call from the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, but this time it does not seem to be happening. It is believed that in his recent visit, Pakistan’s Army Chief also could not persuade Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for financial help to Pakistan.
Poor Pakistan, Munir’s army is rich, business of 100 billion dollars
Saudi Arabia changed policy
Karim believes it sets a new precedent. He said Pakistan’s army chief has so far been “a source of reassurance” for the friendly countries. At the World Economic Forum in Davos in January, Saudi Arabia’s finance minister explained the country’s new economic policy. Mohammed Al-Jadaan said, ‘We used to give grants and deposits directly without any conditions but we are changing that. We are taxing our people, we are expecting others to do the same. He clearly said, ‘We want to help but we want you to play your part too.’