US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome has said that the United States is making efforts to resolve Pakistan’s economic issues in all fields.
According to the details, Donald Blome made the remarks while talking to the media after attending a ceremony in Islamabad. He said that Washington was working to find a solution to Islamabad’s serious economic issues in all fields.
The US ambassador also said that the IMF program is also a part of the same effort. Pakistan and US had recently completed high-level trade and investment negotiations in Washington, he said, adding senior-level energy, security, and climate change negotiations — as a follow-up of the Geneva talks — were taking place this week.
Pakistan is facing several challenges that are significantly impacting the lives of its citizens. These include high inflation, a widening trade deficit, and a shortage of foreign currency reserves.
Furthermore, Pakistan has still not secured funding from the International Monetary Fund, leading to high levels of frustration within the incumbent government. In a recent interview, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari was even critical of the IMF for delaying a lifeline, despite Pakistan’s crushing need for help due to the massive economic losses caused by last summer’s floods.
IMF’s increasing demands have also become a major hurdle for Pakistan. Recently, the IMF has asked Pakistan to get confirmation on external financing needs of $6-7 billion from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, and multilateral creditors to fill the gap till the end of June 2023. The IMF is reluctant to announce a staff-level agreement until it is sure that the regional countries will bail out Pakistan.
Reports also state that IMF and Pakistan last week found a middle ground on the issue of the external financing gap as both sides have now agreed to reduce the estimates to $6 billion. However, despite shaving off $1 billion from the estimates, Pakistan’s woes have not ended. It still has to arrange assurances from the regional countries for $6 billion in additional loans.