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Chinese bank rolls over $600m loan to Pakistan: PM Shehbaz

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  • Rollover boosts cash-strapped country’s foreign exchange reserves.
  • Friendly countries’ assistance improving economic indicators, PM says.
  • Exim Bank of China latest institution to roll over Pakistan’s loan.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said Tuesday that a bank in China rolled over a $600 million loan to Pakistan, boosting the cash-strapped country’s forex reserves.

The premier was addressing the launching ceremony of the Prime Minister’s Youth Sports Initiative in Islamabad, where he announced to allocate more funds for the development of the youth if he comes into power again.

“Yesterday, Exim Bank of China rolled over $600 million to Pakistan, which increased our foreign currency reserves,” PM Shehbaz Sharif said and added that assistance from friendly countries is improving economic indicators.

However, he didn’t elaborate further on when this payment was due.

The country is showing signs of economic stability after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a $3 billion bailout programme and transferred the first tranche of $1.2 billion under a nine-month stand-by arrangement.

Having teetered on the brink of a sovereign debt default, Pakistan earlier this month also received $1 billion from the United Arab Emirates and $2 billion from Saudi Arabia, as both were reassured by the agreement struck between Islamabad and the IMF at the end of June.

Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank slightly increased by $61 million to stand at $4.524 billion in the week ending July 7, the State Bank of Pakistan said last Thursday.

IMF projections

An IMF statement said the bailout programme would focus on an appropriately tight monetary policy aimed at curbing price pressures in the South Asian country of 220 million people.

The IMF expects inflation to average 25.9% in fiscal year 2024, though it anticipates a substantial moderation to around 16% towards the end of that period.

With the key policy rate at 22%, the government has projected inflation at 21% for fiscal 2024.

“A continued tight, proactive and data-driven monetary policy is warranted going forward,” the IMF statement said.

The ailing Pakistani economy has faced an acute balance of payments crisis with only enough central bank reserves to cover barely a month of controlled imports. The IMF projects it will have an import cover of 1.4 months in fiscal 2024.

The IMF deal, a lifeline for Pakistan after it was on the cusp of default, came after eight months of tough negotiations over fiscal discipline.

“A market-determined exchange rate is also critical to absorbing external shocks, reducing external imbalances, and restoring growth, competitiveness, and buffers,” the IMF said.

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No “major breakthrough” in the opposition-led JUI-F and PTI meeting

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Maulana Fazalur Rehman stated that mending rifts in relationships and getting rid of resentment in an interview with the media in Islamabad with a team from the Tehreek-e-Tahafuz-e-Ayeen-e-Pakistan that paid him a visit.

While no significant progress was made at the meeting, all sides decided to keep in touch in order to plan for the future.

“A positive message,” according to the JUI-F chief, was received with open arms by the delegation. Taking a “united” stance on national issues was the primary goal of the meeting, he said.

Democracy is losing its appeal, and Pakistan’s parliament and constitution are losing their respect. In parliament, Maulana Fazalur Rehman continued, “we should have a single voice.”

Remarking on the event, National Assembly Opposition Leader Omar Ayub thanked the JUI-F leader for ‘warmly’ receiving the group.

We had a fruitful discussion in the meeting, he declared, urging the opposition parties to work with the PTI to “protect” the constitution.

Constitutional violations and a lack of a rule of law are the claims made by Omar Ayub. According to him, there was “no reason” why the police searched the PTI’s Islamabad central secretariat office.

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In the instance of illegal recruitment, Pervaiz Elahi is granted bail.

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The earlier-reserved court ruling was delivered by LHC Judge Sultan Tanveer Ahmad on Tuesday.

LHC had filed a post-arrest bail motion, according to the former chief minister.

On October 25, 2023, Pervaiz was taken into custody by the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE).

From June 1 to September 18, Elahi has been arrested in a number of crimes; the most recent one was reported by the Punjab ACE on September 18.

More: Pervaiz Elahi’s condition “deteriorated” in Adiala jail; he was hurried to PIMS.

In the Punjab Assembly, Elahi illegally hired 12 people for grade 17 positions, according to information provided by an ACE representative.

In the provincial assembly, the candidates were chosen through record-altering.

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The bail petition of Parvez Elahi in the Jinnah House attack case has been rejected by the ATC.

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A bail application filed by Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, a leader of the Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) party, in the Jinnah House attack case has been rejected by an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) on the grounds of prematurity.

ATC Judge Arshad Javed announced the decision during today’s hearing.

The counsel representing Parvez Elahi contended that there was a significant likelihood of his client being arrested in relation to the Jinnah House attack case. It was stated that the ex-Chief Minister had previously been held in custody on judicial remand in other cases.

The petitioner requested the court to authorise the release of Parvez Elahi on bail in the Jinnah House attack case.

Nevertheless, the prosecution argued that the bail petition did not meet the necessary legal criteria, emphasising that Parvez Elahi had not been apprehended in connection with the case.

Considering these considerations, the court rejected Parvez Elahi’s request for release, stating that it was premature since he had not been arrested in the Jinnah House attack case.

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