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China pledges more support to cash-strapped Pakistan after $9 billion bailout package



As the Pakistan government tries to steady the nation's weak economy, China said it will continue to help the cash-strapped country stabilise its financial situation.

(News Agency) Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian addressed the media in Beijing on Monday and said, "China has done its utmost to help Pakistan stabilise its financial situation. We have been doing so, and we will continue to do so." Zhao's statement comes days after Pakistan’s Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said China offered a USD 9 billion bailout package to the cash-strapped country.Pakistan will also receive about USD 4 billion from Saudi Arabia as the government tries to steady the nation's weak economy.
Dar also said Chinese President Xi Jinping in his meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif during his recent visit to Beijing on November 3 had assured him, "Don't worry, we will not let you down".

During Sharif's visit to Beijing, Xi Jinping promised to give around USD 4 billion in sovereign loans, refinance USD 3.3 billion of commercial bank loans and increase currency swaps by about USD 1.45 billion.

PAKISTAN'S DEBT
According to a report by PTI, Pakistan owes the Paris Club countries a combined sum of around USD 10.7 billion. The Paris Club is a group of officials from major creditor nations whose role is to find coordinated and sustainable solutions to the payment difficulties experienced by debtor countries.According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Pakistan’s total non-Paris Club bilateral debt currently stands at about USD 27 billion, out of which its Chinese debt is about USD 23 billion.

Pakistan is currently in the midst of political turmoil after its former prime minister Imran Khan was shot in the legs at a political rally in Wazirabad on November 3. Two gunmen fired a volley of bullets while he was leading a protest march against the Shehbaz Sharif government. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party chief was treated at the Shaukat Khanum Hospital in Lahore and was discharged on Sunday.