Army chief appeals to US to expedite release of IMF funds to Pakistan

Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa has appealed to the United States to help Islamabad secure an early dispersal of $1.2 billion in funds under an International Monetary Fund loan programme, Nikkei Asia reported, as Pakistan faces the risk of debt default due to dwindling foreign reserves.

The army chief reached out to the US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman on a phone call earlier in the week, sources from both US and Pakistan revealed on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak publicly.

They revealed that Gen Bajwa requested the White House and Treasury Department to urge the lender to expedite the bailout process and immediately release the nearly $1.2 billion that Pakistan expects to receive under a resumed loan programme.

Pakistan and the IMF reached a staff-level agreement over the release of the funds to support the country’s fragile economy. The staff-level agreement will pave way for a $1.2 billion disbursement, which is expected in August.