Pakistan might still need IMF help, despite Saudi bailout: Imran Khan

Pakistan might still need IMF help, despite Saudi bailout: Imran Khan
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan address his nation on Wednesday evening after his return from his Saudi Arabia. (Hum TV screen grab)
Updated 25 October 2018

Pakistan might still need IMF help, despite Saudi bailout: Imran Khan

Pakistan might still need IMF help, despite Saudi bailout: Imran Khan
  • Prime Minister thanks Saudi leadership for reducing visa fees for Pakistanis who go to the Kingdom to work
  • Pakistan is strengthening its institutions to curb money laundering, says Khan

ISLAMABAD: Financial assistance from Saudi Arabia has helped lessen Pakistan’s economic problems, Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Wednesday, but he added that the country might still need help from the International Monetary Fund.
“We have secured an amazing package from Saudi Arabia that has taken off the financial burden,” he said in a televised speech to the nation. He also thanked the Saudi leadership for reducing visa fees for Pakistani blue-collar workers who go to the Kingdom for jobs.
Khan said his government is trying to secure loans from other “friendly countries” to address the nation’s economic crisis and that he would share more “good news” in the coming days.
“We are negotiating a similar package (to the one from Saudi Arabia) with two other countries and hope to secure it,” he said. “If we get this package, we won’t be burdening our salaried class with more inflation.”
However, Khan did not rule out the possibility of seeking loans from International Monetary Fund, but added that “even if we go to the IMF, we won’t need much from the lender.”
He also revealed that Pakistan will be a peacemaker in the war in Yemen, saying: “We are playing the role of an arbitrator in the Yemen conflict.”
The speech came just a day after Pakistan secured a $6 billion financial-assistance package from Saudi Arabia during a visit to the Kingdom. In a condemnation of the leading opposition parties, he said the country’s debt increased from 6,000 billion to 30,000 billion rupees in the past 10 years, and all state enterprises were running at a loss, to the tune of billions of rupees. Khan also made it clear to the leaders of the opposition parties that they will not deter the government through protests, nor would any reconciliation offers be extended.
“The country has no future as long as the corrupt go scot-free,” he said. “The process of accountability will continue, come what may.”
The prime minister said his government is conducting an audit of the development funds handled by previous governments to hold the “corrupt accountable.”
Referring to money laundering, he said looted money is first transferred tp phony bank accounts, then laundered abroad. “We are strengthening our institutions to tackle money laundering,” he added.
Exporters and foreign investors will be encouraged through a one-time offer to help improve the economic situation and create jobs in the country, Khan said. He will also announce a “safety net for the downtrodden” in the coming days, and urged the nation to maintain its support for the government for some time, so that it can properly address all issues.
“The country will rise rapidly as we have got all the needed potential,” he said. “The time is not far away when we will be extending loans to other nations instead of getting them.”


Russian victim regains consciousness following stabbing attack in Istanbul

Russian victim regains consciousness following stabbing attack in Istanbul
Updated 18 min 39 sec ago

Russian victim regains consciousness following stabbing attack in Istanbul

Russian victim regains consciousness following stabbing attack in Istanbul
  • The victim, a fashion model, was a tourist visiting Turkey and had never met the attacker before

LONDON: A Russian woman who was stabbed seven times by a knife-wielding attacker in Istanbul has regained consciousness, her sister said. 
Maria Rosanova, who is the sister of the victim Alexandra, told Life.ru news website that doctors at the hospital said she had regained consciousness and doctors are assessing her condition, according to a report by RT Arabic. 
Alexandra, a fashion model, was a tourist visiting Turkey and had never met the attacker before. 
“The incident not only caused physical suffering to her, but also emotional damage,” her sister said. 
Alexandra was attacked by a Turkish man along with two other Russians, a man and a woman, late on Sunday night. They were taken to hospital but their injuries were not life threatening. 
 The man suspected of attacking the Russians, a local garbage collector, has been detained by police, according to Russian agency Sputnik.
Preliminary reports suggested he was mentally ill.
The attack was caught on camera and widely shared online.
Turkey continues to grapple with high rates of violent crime, particularly murder and attempted murder.