The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Bajwa has reportedly discussed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan with Saudi Arabia’s and United Arab Emirates authorities.
According to reports, the IMF loan program was discussed, and Pakistan is soon to see positive development. Earlier, Pakistan and the IMF reached a staff-level agreement over the release of the funds to support the country’s fragile economy. The staff-level agreement will pave way for a $1.2 billion disbursement, which is expected in August.
As per reports, the IMF’s board meeting is expected in the third week of August and the pressure on the local currency has sparked a debate about whether Pakistan could default.
Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa's communication with the officials of Saudi Arabia & UAE & the discussion regarding the IMF program is a reflection of his sincere love for the Pakistani economy.@OfficialDGISPR pic.twitter.com/tfnwq3CoqY
— Muhammad Ramzan Chhipa (@RamzanChhipa) August 5, 2022
Bajwa seeks US help
The development comes after COAS Bajwa reached out to the US for securing an early disbursement of $1.2 billion in funds under the IMF program.
A Tokyo-based publication while quoting anonymous sources from both Pakistan and the US claimed that the army chief reached out to the US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman on a phone call earlier in the week and appealed to her to expedite the $1.2bn dispersal by the IMF.
The matter raised quite the storm in Pakistan because COAS Bajwa apparently requesting help from the US over the IMF loan put into question the incumbent government’s competency.
Moreover, it also resulted in criticism of the COAS, for instance, PTI Chairman and former Prime Minister Imran Khan said it is not the Chief of Army Staff’s job to deal with economic matters.
Furthermore, Imran Khan said the report implied that no one including the international community and the people of the country has confidence in the coalition government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
However, later, media reports quoting government sources emerged claiming that the premier had a discussion with the top commander before the latter spoke on phone to Deputy US Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.
It said that the civil-military officials made the decision in wake of the dire economic condition of the country as the high price of energy imports pushes Islamabad to the brink of a payment crisis.
Top officials decided that COAS Bajwa would approach Washington and request it to use its influence to help Pakistan secure an early release of the funds.