The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Pakistan managed to reach a three-year deal (39 months to be exact) for a bailout package for $6 billion but with a strong message that it needs to check on the menace of terror financing.
In a statement released on Sunday night, IMF confirmed that a deal has been reached. "The Pakistani authorities and the IMF team have reached a staff-level agreement on economic policies that could be supported by a 39-month Extended Fund Arrangement (EFF) for about US$6 billion. This agreement is subject to IMF management approval and to approval by the Executive Board, subject to the timely implementation of prior actions and confirmation of international partners’ financial commitments," said IMF's Ernesto Ramirez Rigo who has been in Islamabad for talks from April 29.
Rigo also said that Pakistan will have to take a number of steps to ensure that its crumbling economy manages to find its feet once again. "An ambitious structural reform agenda will supplement economic policies to rekindle economic growth and improve living standards. Priority areas include improving the management of public enterprises, strengthening institutions and governance, continuing anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism efforts, creating a more favourable business environment, and facilitating trade," he said.
Pakistan had knocked on IMF's doors in August of last year, around the time Imran Khan took oath as the country's PM. While talks had been on since, there were reports that the IMF had imposed harsh terms and conditions on Pakistan if it were to release a bailout package. The exact nature of these in the final agreement has not been revealed yet.