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India to help Pak tide financial crisis: PM

This article was posted on Oct 26, 2008 and is filed under Market Outlook

In what could be seen as a major confidence building measure, India has said it will support Pakistan government’s efforts to tide over a serious financial crunch by backing Islamabad’s plan to seek help from the IMF.

“I wish the new democratic government in Pakistan well. We would like them to succeed,” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told reporters on board his special aircraft while returning home from a two-nation trip to Japan and China last evening.

“Pakistan is in serious difficulties and is going to the IMF. We will support Pakistan getting help from the IMF,” said Singh, who met his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani in Beijing on the margins of the ASEM Summit on Friday.

Singh said he and Gilani discussed “all issues having a bearing on our bilateral relations and I would say that there was a near complete meeting of mind.”

The Prime Minister’s remarks came as Pakistan is facing a major economic crisis with plunging foreign exchange reserves and high inflation. The rating agency Standard and Poor’s downgraded the country’s sovereign debt to level of ‘CCC-plus’, close to defaulting on its commitments of external loan repayment.

Islamabad is seeking loans from international donor funds and member states of ‘Friends of Pakistan’ group, which will convene a meeting next month in the UAE.

The Prime Minister said he had extensive discussions with Gilani on trade.

“We expressed happiness at the opening of the trade route in Jammu and Kashmir. We expressed our wish that trade should be expanded and discussed the problem of visa liberalization and people-to-people contact,” Singh said.

He said Gilani briefed him about the discussions on terrorism in Pakistan’s Parliament.

Singh noted that Pakistan’s Parliament had for the first time passed a strong resolution against terrorism that said Pakistani territories would not be allowed to be utilised for terrorist activities against neighbours.

“It was a good meeting but we are yet to see how effectively it is implemented” Singh said.

source: Financialexpress

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