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Pakistan PM leaves for global summit in Dubai

Islamabad, Feb 10 (IANS) Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday left for a day-long visit to Dubai where he will participate in a global summit, the Foreign Office announced.

The World Government Summit is an annual gathering of heads of states and governments, policy makers and experts. It provides an opportunity to discuss improvement in governance through reform, innovation and technology.

Khan is expected to meet International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde on the sidelines of the summit to discuss the conditions that have held up the fund’s bailout programme, a Foreign Office spokesperson told Dawn news.

He will also meet United Arab Emirates Crown prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan.

Khan is accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Finance Minister Asad Umar.

In his key note address at the summit, the Prime Minister will highlight his vision for a strong and prosperous Pakistan and will encourage investment in different sectors of the economy, the spokesperson added.

Regarding Khan’s meeting with Lagarde, Foreign Minister Qureshi, while speaking to the media before their departure, said that Islamabad wanted to proceed with the bailout package under conditions that “will not add additional burden on the common man”.

The IMF is asking for an adjustment of around 1,600-2,000 billion Pakistani rupees over three to four years, reports Dawn news.

It also wants some corrective measures to put Pakistan’s economy on the right track after witnessing the highest-ever current account deficit.

The Fund has also asked for further monetary tightening as well as a complete free float of the exchange rate.

–IANS

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