ISLAMABAD, (DNA) – Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday – his second visit to the friendly country in the past two months.The purpose of the visit is to seek billions of dollars in aid as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) becomes unusually tough on Pakistan on the fiscal and monetary fronts, which is hindering early conclusion of talks.
The premier’s delegation includes Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umar, Advisor to PM on Commerce Abdul Razzak Dawood and others.
PM Imran was received by Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan at the Presidential Palace while a guard of honour was also arranged.
Prior to that, Minister of State and Chief Executive Officer of ADNOC at the Presidential Apron, Abu Dhabi Airport Sultan bin Jaber received the Pakistani delegation at the airport.
Islamabad seeks $6 billion financial assistance package from the UAE in the shape of cash deposits and oil on deferred payments. It is the PM’s second visit to the UAE in the last one and half month. Earlier, he had a stopover in Dubai on his return from Saudi Arabia in September where he had also sought aid. Finance Minister Umar, however, denied that there is any link between the IMF conditions and the PM’s UAE visit.
Pakistan and the UAE may sign a memorandum of understanding on the financial assistance package, a cabinet minister told The Express Tribune on condition of anonymity. Last month, a UAE delegation had also visited Pakistan and the government had sought from the Gulf state $6 billion.
It seems that the government has hurriedly planned the second UAE visit, as the Foreign Office did not announce the plan during its Thursday briefing.
The key agenda of the PM’s meetings will be bilateral investment and economic cooperation, said the Finance Ministry sources. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi is already in the UAE.