Finance minister Ishaq Dar expressed the hope that Pakistan would receive a second $3 billion bailout from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia “within days”. Dar also vowed to raise money through the “sale of assets” in order to beef up the country’s foreign exchange reserves which are at critically low levels.
Dar made these remarks while addressing his longest press conference since October 2022 to respond to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) white paper on the PDM government’s economic performance.
At the press conference, the finance minister reiterated his commitment to the IMF Programme, but stressed that he would not take any steps to burden the people. Dar did not categorically state whether the National Security Committee (NSC) had clearly backed the plan to continue the IMF programme, or not.
The finance minister was flanked by the coalition government’s economic team at the joint press conference: planning minister Ahsan Iqbal, energy minister Khurram Dastgir Khan, economy minister Ayaz Sadiq, information minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, and state minister for finance Aisha Ghaus Pasha.
“God willing, in matters of days, Saudi Arabia will beef up reserves”, said Dar, answering whether there was any concrete commitment from any foreign nation.
Twice in the past three months, finance minister Ishaq Dar said that Saudi Arabia would give Pakistan an additional infusion of $3 billion: which would be the second bailout from the brotherly country in the past one year. Sources affirm that the matter is now pending before the Saudi king for final consent.
Due to the gravity of the economic situation, Pakistan’s civil-military leadership discussed the issue in depth during the past week, including at least twice at the NSC forum.