No conditions for $6bn Saudi financial deal: foreign minister


ISLAMABAD: Saudi Arabia has not placed any conditions on Pakistan in return for a $6 billion financial deal to help the country overcome a widening balance of payments and current deficit crisis, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Wednesday.

Qureshi, who accompanied Prime Minister Imran Khan on the recent visit to Riyadh, was speaking in an exclusive interview with Geo News host Hamid Mir in the programme ‘Capital Talk’.

“How did Pakistan receive the deal?” inquired Mir, to which the foreign minister responded: “By the grace of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), I believe”.

The foreign minister said that the kingdom’s deal with Pakistan had no connection with former Chief of Army Staff General (retd) Raheel Sharif heading the Saudi coalition forces.

While responding to a question, Qureshi claimed that the family of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was no longer on “the radar of the kingdom”.

“There was no discussion regarding Sharifs in Saudi Arabia,” said the foreign minister.

Since taking power in August, Prime Minister Imran Khan has sought loans from friendly countries such as China and Saudi Arabia, promised to recover funds stolen by corrupt officials, and embarked on a series of high-profile austerity measures.

On Tuesday, the prime minister struck a 12-month deal for a balance of payments lifeline during his visit to Saudi Arabia, which will deposit $3 billion with Pakistan’s central bank and provide a matching one-year deferred payment facility for oil imports.

Prime Minister Imran Khan is scheduled to address the nation on Wednesday night in which he is expected to shed light on developments during his recent visit to Saudi Arabia.

The full interview of the foreign minister with Hamir Mir will be aired at 8:05 pm on Geo News.


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