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IMF Team To Visit Pakistan For Talks On Support Package

Pakistani Finance Minister Asad Umar earlier this month visited Washington for talks with the international lender on a long-delayed bailout program.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says it will send a team to Pakistan later this month to continue negotiations over a support package, amid efforts by the South Asian country to deflect an economic crisis.

"At the request of the authorities, an IMF mission will be going to Pakistan before the end of April to continue the discussions," the IMF said in a statement on April 15.

The announcement follows Pakistani Finance Minister Asad Umar's visit to Washington, where he had talks with the international lender on a long-delayed bailout program.

Pakistan reached an "agreement in principle" with the IMF over bailout package during Umar's "successful" visit to the United States, according to the country's state minister for revenue.

"Technical details and formalities will now be finalised during the IMF's staff level visit to Pakistan later this month," the minister, Hammad Azhar, tweeted.

Earlier, a Pakistani government source who did not want to be identified was quoted as saying that "both sides are still engaged" in intense negotiations, and the IMF mission was more likely to visit Pakistan in May.

Pakistan was last year expected to sign up for its 13th IMF bailout program since the late 1980s, but Pakistani officials complained that the conditions attached to the proposed IMF loans could hurt the country's economic growth.

The IMF demands full disclosure of all financial cooperation between Pakistan and China, which would include infrastructure development assistance, nuclear power plants, joint manufacturing of warplanes, and procurement of submarines.

The lender also wants details of more than $6.5 billion of commercial loans Pakistan has received from China in the past 2 1/2 years.

With reporting by Reuters and Dawn
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