- Report says COAS reached out to US Deputy Secretary, White House, Treasury
Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa has sought US help for early disbursement of the next tranche of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme, reported Nikkei Asia on Friday, citing sources from both countries.
The report said COAS Bajwa spoke on the phone with US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman regarding the release of the tranche earlier this week.
The IMF reached a staff-level agreement with Pakistan authorities on July 14, with board approval expected towards the end of August.
However, with foreign exchange reserves dropping to a critical level, policymakers have been left scrambling to secure dollar-inflows. The fall comes in tandem with soaring inflation and deterioration of macroeconomic indicators. Moreover, all three major global ratings agencies – Moody’s, Fitch and S&P Global – have downgraded Pakistan’s outlook or lowered the rating of the country.
While Pakistan has moved to ban select imports, it has done little to arrest slide of the rupee that had its worst week in over decades. On Friday, it closed at 239.27 against the US dollar after depreciating over 13% in two weeks.
Meanwhile, the report added that the COAS appealed to the White House and US Treasury Department to push the global lender to immediately send funds to support Pakistan’s economy.
Bajwa's appeal comes in the wake of separate meetings between senior civilian Pakistani and American officials in July, none of which managed to negotiate an early disbursement of funds, the report added.
The US is the largest shareholder in the IMF.