ISLAMABAD (Agencies) - Pakistan is turning to Saudi Arabia for financial aid to ease an economic crisis that already has forced the militancy wracked country to start talks with the International Monetary Fund. President Asif Ali Zardari will leave for the oil-rich Arab nation on Tuesday (today) on a six-day official visit to request a deferral on oil payments and other possible support, the Foreign Ministry said. Another potential topic: negotiating with the Taliban. The country needs billions in outside assistance to avoid defaulting on its international loans. The impoverished nation of 170 million people is hampered by high inflation, chronic power outages and a sinking currency, as well as a violent Islamist insurgency - all of which threaten to undermine the fledgling pro-US government. Analysts said Zardari's visit could yield some temporary relief, but that he was unlikely to return with a package that would render moot politically unpopular IMF aid. An IMF assistance package would likely come with painful requirements to cut government spending that could affect programs for the poor, making it a tough choice for the politicians. The economists predict Zardari would ask for $3 billion in deferred oil payments from the Saudis, but warned that Pakistan should prepare for IMF assistance. If government misses the IMF now, it would need it again some months later, and that time it would have to accept more tough conditions" they said. Pakistan hopes that its front-line role in the war on terrorism will nudge its allies to prevent its economic downfall. But Saudi Arabia, the US and other nations may condition any aid they give on Pakistan submitting to an IMF package, which would come with strict spending rules, they added. Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance Shaukat Tarin has said that if he does not get indications of a forthcoming bailout from allies by Nov 10 "there is no other option but to go to the IMF." One outlet Tarin and others have turned to is a new group of countries called "Friends of Pakistan" - among them the US and Saudi Arabia. Pakistan hopes the group and the World Bank will provide about $5 billion to help it avoid the IMF. Zardari will offer Saudi investors to invest their asserts in the fields of power, infrastructure, development, agriculture and industry in Pakistan. The leadership of the both countries will discuss the issues of mutual understanding regarding the recent challenges being faced by the Islamic World, war against terrorism and countering the extremism. Meanwhile Mr. Asif Ali Zardari will discuss the future Saudi assistance on the platform of Friends of Pakistan group. In the group America, United Kingdom, China, France, Germany and United Arab Emirates are included and its session is being expected on Nov 17 in Dubai, UAE. Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said Zardari's visit to Saudi Arabia would also look at "efforts to counter the menace of terrorism and extremism", an indication that discussions about possibly negotiating with the Taliban may also be on Zardari's agenda.