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Pakistan’s prime minister visits Trump, however that is unlikely to assist his nation’s struggling financial system


President Donald Trump and the Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Imran Khan, communicate to the media within the Oval Workplace on the White Home on July 22, 2019 in Washington, DC.

Mark Wilson | Getty Photographs

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s three-day go to to the U.S. just isn’t doubtless going to do a lot for his nation’s struggling financial system, a political analyst stated Tuesday.

Structural issues have hamstrung progress, and Pakistan is awash in exterior debt, having taken on billions of {dollars} in loans from international locations similar to China and Saudi Arabia to ease pressures on its present account.

The Worldwide Financial Fund lately approved a $6 billion loan package to shore up Pakistan’s financial system. However progress is ready to gradual to 2.4% within the present fiscal 12 months — from 5.5% within the 12 months that ended June 2018, IMF predicted.

“I imagine that one of the requests that Imran Khan and other senior officials traveling with them in Washington have asked for is some type of stepped-up U.S. support for Pakistan’s economy,” Michael Kugelman, deputy director and senior affiliate for South Asia on the U.S.-based Wilson Heart, instructed CNBC’s “Street Signs. “

He stated it is unlikely that Washington will prolong financial assist to Pakistan but, as there are different points that take priority of their bilateral dialogue — specifically, Afghanistan and counter-terrorism. As a substitute, the U.S. is dangling the potential of stronger commerce and financial cooperation with Pakistan, if the latter have been to assist with the peace talks in Afghanistan and do extra to crack down on terrorism inside its borders, Kugelman stated.

“If you look at the statement that the White House released soon before Prime Minister Khan had his meeting with Trump, there was a series of lines in the statement about how U.S. and Pakistan trade cooperation has increased in recent years, sort of like highlighting the fact that you do have this cooperation,” he stated.

Kugelman added that Khan might probably additionally look to the U.S. non-public sector to try to herald some assist to the Pakistani financial system by new investments.

Afghanistan

The connection between the U.S. and Pakistan has been strained.

Khan met with President Donald Trump on Monday in a push to fix ties between Islamabad and Washington over the protracted battle in Afghanistan.

Final 12 months, Trump accused Pakistan of offering “safe haven to terrorists” and complained on Twitter that the nation gave the U.S. “nothing but lies & deceit” regardless of receiving billions of {dollars} in assist for greater than a decade. He then suspended assist to the nation. Pakistan denied these prices.

On Monday, the 2 leaders met on the White Home the place Trump sounded optimistic that Khan might assist the U.S. dealer a settlement to finish the battle in Afghanistan.

“I think Pakistan is going to help us out to extricate ourselves. We’re like policemen. We’re not fighting the war,” he instructed reporters, according to a White House transcript, earlier than including that if he wished to, he might win that warfare in per week. He didn’t elaborate. “I just don’t want to kill 10 million people,” he added.

Washington desires extra cooperation from Pakistan within the Afghanistan peace course of. According to Reuters, that features a sustained crackdown on militants and terrorists inside its borders, in addition to assist to “pressure the Taliban into a permanent ceasefire and participation in inter-Afghan negotiations that would include the Afghan government.”

Trump on Monday additionally hinted at the potential of restoring about $1.three billion in assist to Pakistan that was suspended final 12 months.

At a media briefing within the Oval Workplace earlier than their assembly, Khan stated Pakistan wants peace and stability.

“We have had 15 years of fighting this war on terror. Over 70,000 Pakistani casualties. Over $150 billion lost to the economy. So, we desperately want peace,” he stated.

Kashmir

The U.S. president additionally weighed in on Kashmir — a delicate matter for each Pakistan and its neighboring rival, India. The disputed territory has been on the middle of a long time of battle and a number of wars.

Earlier this 12 months, Islamabad and New Delhi conducted retaliatory air strikes on one another following a terror attack in India-controlled Kashmir. That episode fueled concerns about stability in the region at the moment.

Khan stated that Islamabad had tried its finest to resolve the dispute with New Delhi.

“We’ve made all overtures to India to start dialogue, resolve our differences through dialogue. But, unfortunately, we haven’t made headways as yet. But I’m hoping that President Trump would push this process,” Khan stated.

Trump claimed throughout Monday’s media briefing that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had requested him if he can be prepared to mediate within the Kashmir dispute between the 2 nuclear rivals “because this has been going on for many, many years.”

India promptly denied Trump’s declare. A spokesperson for India’s exterior affairs ministry, Raveesh Kumar, stated on Twitter that Modi had made “no such request” to Trump.

“It has been India’s consistent position that all outstanding issues with Pakistan are discussed only bilaterally,” Kumar stated, including, “Any engagement with Pakistan would require an end to cross border terrorism.”

Reuters contributed to this report.



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