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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

US Urges Pakistan on Economic Reforms

Amidst negotiations with the IMF, the US urges Pakistan to prioritize economic reforms while emphasizing regional stability and collaboration with Saudi Arabia, highlighting ongoing efforts to promote dialogue and freedom of expression.

As Pakistan seeks to secure a fresh bailout package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United States has emphasized the need for the country to prioritize and broaden its economic reforms.

Read More: Pakistan Seeks Long-Term Economic Partnership with World Bank and ADB

State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller lauded Pakistan’s progress in stabilizing its economy but stressed the importance of tackling its significant debt burden. Miller underscored the US commitment to Pakistan’s economic success, urging the government to expand reforms to address its economic challenges. He reiterated the US’s support for Pakistan through technical agreements and strengthening trade and investment ties.

US Position on Regional Dynamics

In light of recent developments, including comments by the Indian defense minister, Miller emphasized the US’s stance of non-intervention while encouraging India and Pakistan to seek resolution through dialogue and avoid escalation. He also affirmed the US’s continued advocacy for freedom of expression in Pakistan.

Regarding the visit of the Saudi foreign minister to Pakistan, Miller refrained from direct commentary but highlighted ongoing US efforts to promote de-escalation in the Middle East. He noted discussions between the US Secretary of State and the Saudi FM, emphasizing collaboration to work towards long-term normalization between Saudi Arabia and Israel for regional peace and security.

Economic Outlook and IMF Negotiations

Pakistan’s economic landscape remains under scrutiny as it navigates negotiations with the IMF for a new multi-year loan program. With the conclusion of the nine-month Stand-By Arrangement imminent, discussions for a new bailout package are underway.

Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb highlighted the country’s efforts to secure a loan worth “billions” of dollars. While the IMF is focused on completing the current program, there is openness to engage in initial discussions for a successor program. The outcome of these negotiations will significantly impact Pakistan’s economic trajectory in the coming years.