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Bailout package: Indian lobby launches campaign to prevent IMF from Pakistan deal

WASHINGTON:  Pakistan is going to hold crucial talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for securing bailout package to overcome the expected balance of payment crisis.

Federal Minister Asad Umar is arriving in Washington this week to attend the spring meetings of the World Bank group.

But before Asad Umar arrival in Washington for the crucial talk, Indian lobby has become active to block Pakistan’s IMF package.

On Friday, three congressmen — Ted S. Yoho, Ami Bera and George Holding — sent a letter to US secretaries of State and Treasury, asking them to prevent the IMF from concluding a deal with Pakistan.

The congressmen claimed that Pakistan would use the IMF package to repay China for the loans incurred under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) programme. Two of these lawmakers — Mr Bera and Mr Holding — are co-chairs of the Indian caucus in Congress.

Asad Umar will reach US on Tuesday to attend the meeting. The WB group also include IMF. On the sidelines of the WB groups meeting he will hold crucial talks with the IMF over the bailout package, Pakistan is seeking from the Fund.

Asad Umar had earlier said he hoped his discussions in Washington would be fruitful and Pakistan would be able to sign the bailout package by the end of this month.

In October, Pakistan formally requested the IMF for an economic assistance package and backed it up with a series of meetings with senior IMF officials.