| GEO Pakistan|
| Pakistan seeks IMF help to deal with financial crisis|
| Updated at: 2010 PST, Wednesday, October 22, 2008|
WASHINGTON; The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Wednesday that Pakistan had sought its help to deal with a financial crisis, and talks would begin in "the next few days."
"The Pakistani authorities have requested discussions with the IMF on an economic program supported by financial assistance from the Fund to meet the balance of payments difficulties the country is experiencing as a result of high food and fuel prices and the global financial crisis," IMF managing director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn said in a statement.
"A Fund mission will begin discussions with the authorities in the next few days on a program aimed at strengthening economic stability and enhancing confidence in the financial system," he said.
Strauss-Kahn said the amount of IMF financing had yet to be determined. In Pakistan, the government has insisted that IMF help to avoid a balance of payments crisis is a "back-up plan", but officials say privately that they will likely seek four billion dollars.
"Financing could be made within framework of the Fund's Emergency Financing Mechanism," he said, referring to a fast-track process that the IMF has revived to help countries experiencing economic problems from the global financial crisis.