Wednesday, March 15, 2023
ISLAMABAD: US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome wished for a deal between Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) assuring Washington's willingness to support the country in its efforts to resume a stalled $6.5 billion bailout programme.
Ambassador Blome also indicated that the IMF bailout package for Islamabad will take its final shape in a couple of days.
“The United States is ready to cooperate with Pakistan to help on the issue,” Blome said, while speaking to journalists at an event on Tuesday.
The envoy also expressed Washington's willingness to help Islamabad with the ongoing challenge of terrorism.
Blome, who has been visiting Pakistan's important cities recently for meetings with groups belonging to different walks of life, said there had been significant progress in diplomatic relations between the two countries.
The IMF and Islamabad have been in talks over a stalled bailout package since late last year, with the country seeking a $1.1bn tranche to address its worsening balance of payments crisis that would also pave the way for friendly affluent capitals to provide assistance to overcome ongoing financial complexities.
Pakistan and the IMF are engaged in negotiations to reach a mutually agreeable package that would help the cash-strapped nation come out of the ongoing economic turmoil.
Interestingly, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, last week, said Pakistan would strike a staff-level agreement (SLA) with the IMF in a few days, as the government remained committed to completing the loan programme signed in 2019.
After failing to convince the lender, Dar had reportedly contacted the US envoy earlier this week in order to get "lenient treatment" from the Fund which has been persistent with its demands.