Imran Khan hoping for a bailout from China, Pakistan’s ‘all-weather’ friend

Imran Khan hoping for a bailout from China, Pakistan’s ‘all-weather’ friend

Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said on Friday that Pakistan is likely to get a huge economic assistance package from China.

In the meeting, the two sides discussed strengthening of bilateral relations and matters of mutual regional and global interests, including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. "Unfortunately our country is going through a low point at the moment", he said.

"We'd like to work with Pakistan to strengthen the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership and build a closer community with a shared future between the two countries".

Khan's PTI party, an acronym for its name in the Urdu language, has said the project is too heavy on infrastructure, has too many projects in India's Punjab state and too much corruption.

Pakistan doesn't share a border with China.

Talking to the AIIB president, PM Imran Khan said as a founding member of the AIIB, Pakistan fully supports the bank's mission, adding that the AIIB had achieved good results in a short span of time since and was financing developmental projects in Pakistan.

Pakistan is expected to receive $6 billion economic package from China during PM Imran's visit, the sources said.

"We have lodged strong protests with China and Pakistan on the proposed bus service that will operate through areas of Pakistan Occupied Jammu and Kashmir State under the so-called "China-Pakistan Economic Corridor", the spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) told reporters.

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The launch apparently is coinciding with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan's maiden visit to China starting Friday. He said that we are neither surprised nor did we expect anything substantial to be delivered there, because of the mindset India prefers to be in denial mode since the tragedy of Kashmir was born in 1947.

Pakistan is now hoping to secure help from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to avert the crisis in what would be the nation's 13th rescue package from the lender in 30 years.

Imran will meet Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Saturday when the two countries are expected to sign a series of agreements.

In an interview to the Chinese state-run media ahead of his visit, Khan said the CPEC has given Pakistan a great opportunity to bring in foreign investment and to get out of the hard economic situation it is facing.

His visit here was regarded as significant as it is taking place amid critical remarks made by some ministers in Khan's Cabinet on the CPEC which had caused consternation among Chinese leaders considering the "all-weather" relations.

Xi welcomed Khan for paying an official visit to China and attending the first China International Import Expo.

While Commerce Minister Dawood told the Financial Times that some of the CPEC agreements were unfair to Pakistani companies and should be put on hold for a year, Railways Minister Rasheed said that Pakistan wants to cut the size of the Dollars 8 billion Karachi-Peshawar rail line, the biggest project of the CPEC, by USD 2 billion. Pakistan will also ask "for some corrections in the trade balance and tariff concessions" from China, he said.

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