Islamabad: Pakistan has requested Saudi Arabia to urgently provide $3 billion in cash after its foreign exchange reserves fell to a critically low level, as the new army chief was also expected to play a role in bagging the bailout during his upcoming maiden visit to the kingdom.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar made the request during a meeting with Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki, the Saudi ambassador, The Express Tribune reported citing a statement from the Ministry.
It was the second consecutive day when the finance minister held meetings with foreign diplomats in his efforts to seek their financial support and also influence the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to soften its stance on releasing its $1.2 billion tranche to the country.
Dar’s request for the cash bailout of $3 billion was over and above the same amount of money rollover of the previous debt, The Express Tribune reported.
However, there is an urgency of the matter, as the country’s foreign exchange reserves have fallen below the $7 billion level for the first time since January 2019.
The current reserves stand at around $6.7 billion, which is almost equal to $6.6 billion on January 18, 2019.
The $6.7 billion reserves are not enough to service the $8.8 billion principal and interest payments during the January-March period of the current fiscal year, according to the sources.
The sources said during the meeting it was also discussed that the new Chief of Army Staff General Asim Munir, would soon visit the kingdom.
The military leadership would also take up the cash injection issue, it emerged after the meeting.