PM to attend int'l conference on 'Future Investment Initiative' in Saudi Arabia

Malik said that holding the current government responsible for the economic crisis would be unfair adding that this is the worst financial crunch in the nation's history

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has vowed to try to extend a hand of peace to archrival India following elections in the neighboring country, after a similar offer was "rebuffed". "So we're desperate at the moment", Khan reportedly told Middle East Eye.'We're desperate'In the deal agreed Tuesday, Saudi Arabia will give Islamabad $3 billion in foreign currency support for a year and a further loan worth up to $3 billion in deferred payments for oil imports."This arrangement will be in place for three years, which will be reviewed thereafter", Pakistan's foreign ministry said in a statement.

Pakistan's Finance Minister Asad Umar speaks during a visit to the Karachi Stock Exchange in Karachi on October 20, 2018.

Pakistani analysts say reducing the size of the bailout package needed from the IMF would shore up Pakistan's weak position during negotiations with the fund.

The cash assistance will lower the requirements to devalue the rupee, as the one-off assistance will for the time being improve the macroeconomic projections, the report quoted some independent economists as saying.

Growing global outrage over the murder of journalist and Saudi government critic Khashoggi has overshadowed the Riyadh conference, expected to run until Thursday.

After assuming power in August, Khan wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggesting a meeting between the two countries' foreign ministers on the margins of the UN General Assembly in September.

During the visit, Prime Minister Imran Khan will hold meetings with the Chinese President Xi Jinping and the Premier Li Keqiang.

Even as India described Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's remarks on Kashmir as "deeply regrettable" on Monday, Foreign Secretary Vijay Keshav Gokhale is scheduled to brief a parliamentary panel on the current status of India-Pakistan relations on Friday.

But some tough talking by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and the United States on Pakistan's bailout plan, demanding absolute transparency on the country's debts, including those owned by China under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects, has upset Islamabad.

Pakistan is desperately seeking funds from "friendly" countries, including Saudi Arabia.

Though China is now Pakistan's closest ally, Khan's newly elected government has sought to re-think the two countries' signature project, the $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which Beijing touts as the flagship infrastructure programme in its vast Belt and Road Initiative. "We will also discuss housing".

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday night said the latest visit had met with success. Currently, Pakistan imports more than 1 million barrels of Saudi oil a day at an annual cost of $3 billion. Pakistan will also get $3 billion in oil imports on a buy-now-pay-later basis.



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