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Pakistan: Army chief calls for people to 'throw out the begging bowl' to reduce dependence on foreign loans

Pakistan Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Syed Asim Munir promised that the military would not rest until Pakistan is pulled out of the prevailing economic crisis.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee Islamabad Published on: July 25, 2023 9:51 IST
Pakistan Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Syed Asim Munir
Image Source : PTI Pakistan Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Syed Asim Munir

Stressing that Pakistan needs to end dependence on foreign loans for sustaining its dilapidated economy, the country's Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Syed Asim Munir remarked that "all Pakistanis must throw out the begging bowl", reported Geo News.

While addressing the opening ceremony of Khanewal Model Agriculture Farm on Monday, General Munir said, "Pakistanis are a proud, zealous and talented nation. All Pakistanis must throw out the beggar's bowl."

He also promised that the military would not rest until Pakistan is pulled out of the prevailing economic crisis, adding that security and the economy are interlinked and indispensable to each other. 

This comes as Pakistan is set to receive another loan from its all-weather friend China. Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced that the cash-strapped country will receive $600 million from Beijing amid a swelling debt and low foreign exchange reserves.

The Pakistan government's debt rose to $2.44 billion in July, including $2.07 billion in non-guaranteed debt to China. Pakistan also has to pay back to many countries, including $195 million to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the current month. It is also required to repay China around $363 million in guaranteed bilateral loans, including principal and markup payments.

Pakistan has to repay the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to the tune of outstanding loans of $189.67 million including the principal amount of USD 165.02 million and markup of $24.65 million. Total bilateral payment due within July 2023 stands at $513.32 million during the current month.

Meanwhile, the IMF provided a major relief to Pakistan by giving a final nod to a USD 3 billion “stand-by arrangement” for the country to support the government's efforts to stabilise the ailing economy. Pakistan has been struggling to get IMF support for its ailing economy. It is believed that the new loan will improve the country's foreign exchange reserve and also open the door to multilateral loan agreements with institutions and countries.

Pakistan’s economy has been in a free fall mode for the last many years, bringing untold pressure on the poor masses in the form of unchecked inflation, making it almost impossible for a vast number of people to make ends meet.

(with ANI inputs)

ALSO READ | Relief to cash-strapped Pakistan as it gets final IMF approval for USD 3 billion loan

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