Riyadh/Islamabad: Saudi Arabia has agreed to provide Pakistan $3 billion for a year to address the cash-strapped country's balance-of-payments crisis, after Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday met Saudi King Salman in Riyadh, according to a media report.
The cash-rich Gulf kingdom has also signed an agreement to provide $3 billion worth of oil to Pakistan on deferred payment, DawnNews reported.
The development came as Prime Minister Khan called on Saudi King Salman on the sidelines of the high-profile Future Investment Initiative forum in Riyadh. Both leaders expressed their desire to further strengthen the bilateral cooperation.
They also discussed issues of mutual interest, trade, investment and economic ties, Pakistan PM Office said in a press release in Islamabad. Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Minister for Finance Asad Umar and other senior officials were also present during the meeting.
Khan has said that Pakistan would probably need loans from both friendly governments and the International Monetary Fund to meet its commitments. He is now scheduled to travel to Malaysia next week and to China on November 3 to seek financial assistance from the two friendly countries.
Pakistani media on Monday reported that the country immediately needed $12 billion to $13 billion to ease the financial crisis and retire foreign debt. Pakistan formally approached the IMF on October 12 for a bailout to tide over the economic crisis.
But some tough talking by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and the US 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.
Finance Minister Umar has said the government doesn’t want to fully rely on the IMF. He said the loan programme with the IMF is almost final, but the government will have to see that the IMF does not place any "undoable conditions" for Pakistan in return.