WASHINGTON: The US will evaluate on merit a bailout package sought by Pakistan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the State Department said.
“We understand that Pakistan has formally requested assistance from the IMF. As we do in all cases, we will examine closely all aspects, including Pakistan s debt position, in evaluating any loan program,” a State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said during briefing.
“This is something that we’ve been tracking fairly closely. The Secretary had spoken about this a few months back, I know, in some interviews not that long ago. I think part of the reason that Pakistan found itself in this situation is Chinese debt and the fact that there is debt that governments have incurred that they maybe thought wouldn’t be so tough to bail themselves out of, but has become increasingly tough. So – last question and then I’ve got to go,” she said.
The spokesperson was responding to a question on the request made by Pakistan for a USD 8 bailout package. The spokesperson s comments came on a day when Pakistan s Finance Minister Asad Umar met with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde in Nusa Dua, Indonesia and formally sought a bailout from the global lender.
The US has the greatest influence in the IMF s decision-making process.
In July, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had indicated that the US will review the bailout package in view of the massive Chinese debt on Pakistan.
“Make no mistake. We will be watching what the IMF does,” Pompeo said. “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 had told CNBC.—NNI