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Pakistan to seek rescheduling of $27b bilateral debt: Ishaq Dar

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said that he will be seeking rescheduling of the non-Paris Club debt worth $27 billion worth, primarily of which is owed to China, but said no to haircuts as part of any restructuring.

Dar, who is on an official visit to the US, said that Pakistan will not default on grounds of increasing debt while speaking during an interview.

He also ruled out the possibility of the maturity date on bonds being extended which is due in December or renegotiation over Pakistan’s International Monetary Fund programme.

Talking about multilateral development banks and international donors, Dar told Reuters that they have been “quite flexible” in meeting Pakistan’s external financing needs.

“Pakistan will pursue restructuring on equal terms for all bilateral creditors,” the news agency reported him as saying.

Upon being asked if Pakistan will pursue the reducing debt principle, the finance minister said that the country is not seeking a haircut, however, he approved of rescheduling.

Speaking about IMF’s new Resilience and Sustainability Trust for middle-income countries, Dar said that he has talked about all the options with the Fund’s officials.

As Pakistan’s crops have suffered due to the cataclysmic floods, Dar called IMF’s “food shock” borrowing window a good fit, adding that the country might import up to half a million tonnes of wheat in 2023.

The finance minister said that Pakistan has the possibility to approach and access this facility.

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