Pakistan in final round of talks with IMF over bailout deal

Pakistan faces chronic unemployment problems with 24 percent of its population living below the poverty line. (AFP)
Updated 20 November 2018
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Pakistan in final round of talks with IMF over bailout deal

  • Finance Minister Asad Umar acknowledged the two sides have differences and that the talks may not end on Tuesday
  • Pakistan has been approaching the IMF since 1980s and received a $6.7 billion loan in 2013

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund are into their final round of talks over an $8 billion bailout package Islamabad seeks from the international lending agency to overcome the country’s economic woes.
Finance Minister Asad Umar acknowledged the two sides have differences and that the talks may not end on Tuesday.
Authorities say they are still at odds over electricity rate hikes, as well as interest rate hikes and tax collection targets, and that the IMF is looking for more than Pakistan’s new government feels it can manage.
Pakistan has been approaching the IMF since 1980s and received a $6.7 billion loan in 2013. It’s also seeking fresh loans from China, which has already heavily invested in transport and energy, as well as Saudi Arabia and some other Muslim countries.


Huawei secretly helped North Korea build, maintain wireless network: Washington Post

Updated 47 min 45 sec ago
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Huawei secretly helped North Korea build, maintain wireless network: Washington Post

WASHINGTON: Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , the Chinese company put on a US black list because of national security concerns, secretly helped North Korea build and maintain its commercial wireless network, the Washington Post reported on Monday, citing sources and internal documents.
The Chinese telecommunications giant partnered with a state-owned Chinese firm, Panda International Information Technology Co. Ltd., on a number of projects in North Korea over at least eight years, the Post reported.
Such a move would raise questions of whether Huawei, which has used US technology in its components, violated American export controls to furnish North Korea with equipment, according to the Post.
The United States put Huawei on a blacklist in May, citing national security concerns. The move banned US companies from selling most US parts and components to Huawei without special licenses but President Donald Trump said last month American firms could resume sales in a bid to restart trade talks with Beijing.
Huawei did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but said in a statement to the Washington Post it had “no business presence” in North Korea. It was not immediately possible to reach the Panda Group.
The Commerce Department, which also did not immediately respond to a request for comment, has investigated possible links between Huawei and North Korea since 2016 but has not publicly connected the two, the Post said.
Huawei and Panda vacated their Pyongyang office in the first half of 2016, the newspaper reported.