US warns IMF against bailout package for Pak to repay Chinese lenders

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Washington: The US today cautioned the IMF against a possible fresh bailout for Pakistan’s new government to pay off Chinese lenders who have invested in the strategic China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

“Make no mistake, we will be watching what the IMF does,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told CNBC in an interview.

He was responding to a question on reports that Pakistan was drawing up a plan to seek a massive USD 12 billion bailout package from the IMF.

“There’s no rationale for IMF tax dollars and associated with that, American dollars that are part of the IMF funding for those to go to bail out Chinese bondholders or China itself,” Pompeo said.

The International Monetary Fund has said that so far it has not received any such request from Pakistan. Cash-strapped Pakistan has availed of 14 IMF financing programmes since 1980.

Pakistan needs about USD 3 billion in the next few months to avoid defaulting of loans from IMF, China and the World Bank.

Pakistan currently has around USD 5 billion worth of loans from China.

Much of this has been used to fund major infrastructure projects under the USD 50 billion CPEC.

The CPEC is a network of infrastructure projects that are currently under construction throughout Pakistan that will connect China’s remote Xinjiang province with Gwadar port in Pakistan’s Balochistan province. PTI

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