PM Shehbaz says friendly countries’ financial support to Pakistan ‘unconditional’

Prime Minister Shehbaz Shairf is addressing the media at Gwadar Business Centre on July 27, 2023. — PID
Prime Minister Shehbaz Shairf is addressing the media at Gwadar Business Centre on July 27, 2023. — PID 
  • Govt averted the looming default risk with friendly countries’ help: PM.
  • “China, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar extended all-out support to Pakistan.”
  • PM reiterates resolve to develop Gwadar port as one of the best in world.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Shairf has said that the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)-led government has successfully averted the looming default risk due to the “unconditional support” extended by the friendly countries.

“Friendly countries like China, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Qatar extended all-out support to Pakistan,” he said while addressing a ceremony during his day-long visit to Gwadar on Thursday.

The premier added that the support extended by the friendly countries to help Pakistan secure the International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout package was “unconditional” as no condition was placed in return for loans.

“China rolled over $7 billion in loans to Pakistan without any conditions. It is our duty to protect those who supported us in difficult times,” he remarked.

He also added that it was the responsibility of the government to provide security to the intending investors.

Yesterday, PM Shehbaz said China Exim Bank rolled over the loan of another $2.4 billion for the next two years.

The funds from friendly countries, including China, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, helped Pakistan avoid a sovereign default and secure a deal with the IMF.  

The IMF’s board had approved a $3 billion Standby Arrangement for Pakistan on June 30, with $1.2 billion being released initially and the rest to be provided after two reviews.

Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank rose to the highest level in nine months at $8.7 billion as of July 14, thanks to financial support from the bilateral and multilateral partners.

‘Gwadar world-class sea port’

Addressing a laptop and cheque distribution ceremony in Gwadar, PM Shehbaz reiterated the government’s resolve to develop the Gwadar Sea Port as one of the best in the world.

He said the fate of the people of Balochistan especially of Gwadar would be changed through the ongoing development operation in across the province.

PM Shehbaz also deplored that when he visited as prime minster last year here, he was shocked to note that, the previous government had abandoned work on all ongoing projects in the city.

He said despite 15 months of a challenging time, the coalition government managed to lay the foundation of development and prosperity in the country, especially in Balochistan.

Balochistan, he said was rich in huge minerals and other natural resources which needed to be explored and the fruits of the development of the area would be given to the local people.

The local people must enjoy all the basic facilities in all sectors including health and education.

He said the draft of the Gwadar port was one the deepest among the world’s top ports, however dredging of the port which was a continuous process to prevent accumulating silt, was not ensured by the previous government.

Now he informed that the current government initiated the dredging process which would be completed by February next year.

He said in five years from 2017 to 2022, only 100,000 tons of goods could arrive here while goods of over 600,000 tons arrived here at the Gwadar Port during the 15 months of the incumbent government.

The prime minister announced that the laptop quota for Balochistan had now been increased to 14% against the 6% population share of the province.

He also directed the relevant authorities to further increase the laptop quota to 18% for the next fiscal year.

— With additional input from APP


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