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Cash-strapped Pakistan gets $3-billion bailout package from Qatar

Qatar's financial assistance was announced by its foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani

Press Trust of India  |  Islamabad/Doha 

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan

Cash-strapped on Monday secured a bailout package of $3 billion from oil-rich Qatar, a day after Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad concluded his visit to Islamabad and agreed to cooperate in the fields of trade, anti-money laundering and curbing terror financing.

The Gulf state is the fourth nation that has come forward to rescue from default during past 11 months as the government of Prime Minister tries to overcome a ballooning balance-of-payments crisis.

Earlier, China gave $4.6 billion in shape of deposits and commercial loans and Saudi Arabia provided $3 billion cash deposit and $3.2 billion oil facility on deferred payments. The also provided $2 billion cash deposit.

Qatar's financial assistance was announced by its foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.

"Upon the directives of HH the Amir, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs announces of new investments in the form of deposits and direct investments worth a total of QR3 billion in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan," the official News Agency tweeted, quoted the minister as saying.

"The Qatari-Pakistani economic partnership will amount to $9 billion. affirms its aspiration for further development in the relations between the two countries at all political, economic, sports and cultural levels," he said.

Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh confirmed the Qatari financial help through his Twitter handle.

"I want to thank the Emir of HRH Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani for announcing $3 billion in deposits and direct investments for Pakistan and for Qatar's affirmation to further develop relations between the two countries", Shaikh tweeted.

On Sunday, Pakistan conferred the visiting Qatari Emir with the 'Nishan-e-Pakistan', the country's highest civil honour.

Apart from stepping up cooperation in trade and economy, Pakistan and Qatar signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the field of exchange of financial intelligence related to money laundering and curbing terrorism financing.

Pakistan's finance ministry did not immediately provide the break-up of the $3 billion Qatar aid. It was not clear how much of the amount was in shape of deposit that will land in the State Bank of Pakistan to provide temporary cushion to the dwindling reserves, The Express Tribune reported.

Pakistan last month reached a preliminary agreement with the Monetary Fund for a $6 billion bailout package aimed at shoring up its finances and strengthening a slowing economy.

Despite these massive inflows, the official foreign currency reserves held by State Bank of Pakistan, the apex bank, stood at only $7.6 billion as of June 14, the report said.

First Published: Mon, June 24 2019. 17:55 IST
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