US working to address Pakistan’s economic issues: Donald Blome

Donald - The News Today - TNT

ISLAMABAD: US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome on Tuesday said that Washington not only wants Islamabad to find a way out of the difficult times but was also putting efforts to sort out the economic problems faced by the nation.

While speaking after attending a ceremony in the federal capital, the US ambassador said that Washington was working to find a solution to Islamabad‘s serious economic issues in all fields.

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Blome said that the stalled International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme — which is being negotiated between the Pakistani authorities and the Fund since early February — is also a part of the same effort.

Pakistan and US had recently completed high-level trade and investment negotiations in Washington, he said, adding senior-level energy, security and climate change negotiations — as a follow-up of the Geneva talks — were taking place this week.

Bloom said Islamabad was facing human rights challenges like other countries and that it had to deal with these [challenges]. “The US considers Pakistan its partner and will continue to support the country in the field of security,” added the ambassador.

According to a The News report, Pakistan has approached the US seeking its help to secure “lenient treatment” from the Washington-based lender amid a delay in signing the staff-level agreement (SLA).

The IMF has asked Pakistan to get confirmation on external financing needs of $6 to $7 billion from Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar and multilateral creditors to fill the gap till the end of June 2023.

After failing to convince the lender, Islamabad is left with no option but to seek help from Washington and its western allies, in order to secure a “lenient treatment” from the IMF for moving towards the staff-level agreement.

The report stated that Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar had established contacts with the US diplomatic corps, based in Islamabad, and made requests to help end the lingering stalemate with the help of the US Treasury Department.

Read more: World Bank committed to Pakistan’s long-term development: Martin Raiser

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