The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday tied “the next step with Pakistan” to assurances of financial assistance from bilateral and other sources for the release of a bailout tranche, supercritical for the liquidity-challenged country, whose deficient foreign exchange reserves needed an urgent shoring up.
In a news conference, Julie Kozack, the IMF’s Director of Strategic Communications, stated that “timely financial assistance from external partners will be critical to support the authorities’ policy efforts and ensure the successful completion of the review [with Pakistan]”.
“The top goal is to make sure that there is enough funding to support the authorities. Once the few remaining issues are resolved, an SLA will come next, she said.
Pakistan and the IMF have been negotiating since early February on an agreement that would release $1.1 billion to the cash-strapped, nuclear-armed country of 220 million people.