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Analysts' Views Mixed on Saudi Aid to Pakistan

Pakistan has requested financial help from its close allies, including China and Saudi Arabia, and a bailout package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help revive its economy and deal with debt and balance-of-payments problems.Earlier this week, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan secured financial pledges from China during a four-day official visit to China, where he met with leaders, including President Xi Jinping.Chinese and Pakistan officials have not given details, but they say China plans to provide an unspecified financial “grant” to Pakistan.Among other financial dealings, Khan also secured more than $6 billion in financial support from Saudi Arabia during a September visit there. And the United Arab Emirates is reportedly considering Islamabad’s request for up to $6 billion.What strings are attached?Many experts, however, say taking financial assistance from the Saudis and UAE might require a diplomatic or strategic payback.“It’s unlikely a $6 billion gift would come with no strings attached,” Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Asia Program at the U.S.-based Wilson Center, told VOA.

 

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