Cold turkey for Pakistan …
… the IMF has revealed that Islamabad has sounded out the ‘international lender of last resort’ for aid. Pakistan needs, according to one estimate, $4 bn to roll over loans and $10-15 bn to pay for imports.
Islamabad is still trying to get a loan from friendly powers such as the US, China and Saudi Arabia, to avert a loan from the IMF, …
One condition (for the IMF loan) reportedly being sought and stiffly resisted is a 30% reduction in Pakistan’s defence budget over the next 10 years. Other reported conditionalities include sharp downsizing of the government, taxes on farm production and direct monitoring of taxation and the budget by the IMF.
What is intriguing is that Pakistan’s traditional allies, the US, Saudi Arabia and China, for whom the amounts needed by Pakistan are small change, are forcing Islamabad to go to the IMF.
But Pakistan is continuing its negotiations with the so-called Friends of Pakistan, to avoid IMF loans and conditionality.
Is this the start of a new war on terror … a more intelligent war … Pakistan is the largest breeding ground for terror – largely supported by the US (aid, arms, sponsorship) and to a much smaller extent by China.