Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi made it clear on Wednesday that Pakistan has not been placed by Saudi Arabia under any condition in return for the $6 billion rescue package amid the economic crisis.
FM Qureshi said this during an interview with Hamid Mir after his recent visit to Riyadh with Prime Minister Imran Khan where the federal government 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.
When asked what the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government had to do to receive the Saudi deal, the foreign minister said he believes it came “by the grace of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).”
The foreign minister said that the kingdom’s deal with Pakistan had no connection with former army chief Gen (r) Raheel Sharif who heads the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC).
While responding to a question, FM Qureshi claimed that the family of ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif was no longer on “the radar of the kingdom”.
“There was no discussion in Saudi Arabia regarding the Sharifs,” he said.
Since taking power in August, PM 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.
Although the package will help the country overcome a widening balance of payments and current deficit crisis, the premier said Wednesday that Pakistan may still want to avail the IMF bailout and help from other countries.