Islamabad, Nov 15: Prime Minister Imran Khan will visit Malaysia next week where he is likely to seek monetary assistance to minimise the cash-strapped Pakistan’s dependence on an IMF bailout package.
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The Foreign Office said that Prime Minister Khan would be accompanied by a high-level delegation during his official trip to Malaysia on November 20-21.
This would be Khan’s first bilateral visit to Malaysia.
Khan and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad will have a tete-a-tete, followed by the delegation-level talks.
The two countries enjoy warm brotherly relations founded in mutual respect friendship and understanding reinforced by strong cultural and religious affinities, the Foreign Office said in a statement.
Khan’s visit “would provide an opportunity to further cement the existing friendly and cordial bilateral relations by enhancing economic, trade and commercial ties, for our mutual benefit,” the statement said.
Pakistan was facing a USD 12 billion financing gap for the current fiscal year.
The Pakistan government is keen to minimise the amount borrowed from the International Monetary Fund by getting loans from “friendly” countries like Saudi Arabia, China and Malaysia as officials here believe that the global lender could attach tough conditions.
Early this month, Prime Minister Khan visited China, which reportedly agreed to provide USD 6 billion in aid to Pakistan.
Last month, Saudi Arabia said it would provide Pakistan with a USD 6 billion rescue package during Khan’s visit to the Gulf Kingdom.
Meanwhile, Malaysia’s High Commissioner to Pakistan Ikram Bin Mohammad Ibrahim called on Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi here and discussed a wide range of issues.
Qureshi briefed the High Commissioner about Prime Minister Khan’s upcoming visit to Malaysia.
He also highlighted that the prime minister’s visit would help further strengthen bilateral relations between two countries and open new avenues of bilateral cooperation.
The Malaysian diplomat assured his government’s full support to enhance bilateral relations with Pakistan and said that the Malaysian leadership looks forward to Khan’s visit.