PAKISTAN's hectic efforts to get outside financial help to get over the otherwise deepening economic crisis are, hopefully, paying off. Giving the good news Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance Shaukat Tarin told The Nation that the international financial institutions with whom he had been interacting in this behalf during the past two days had pledged a bailout package that would soon be forthcoming to enable Pakistan to "bridge its financial gap". He was confident that the funds would be available during this fiscal. Nevertheless, he held out the assurance that there was no cause for worry because the government had 'Plan B' ready to ease the problem as a short-term measure. The Friends of Pakistan, he pointed out, were also due to meet next month and he hoped that the help they promised would materialise well in time. It is unfortunate that Pakistan is caught up in the crisis and is seeking funds from the IFIs when the whole world is scrambling to get help for the same purpose and that makes the job rather formidable. Under these circumstances, the government could consider accepting assistance even from the IMF though it is best avoided. The truth is that it has already accepted the harsh conditionalities like the withdrawal of subsidies that invariably go with the inflow of money from the IMF. The expectations as of today about securing funds are that the IFIs would dish out between $2 billion and $2.5 billion, the Asian Development Bank would render $1.5 billion worth of economic support during 2008-09 (out of this amount $500 million have already been received) and the overseas Pakistani community would send in an additional remittance of $1.5 billion to $2 billion. In the backdrop of this optimistic scenario, one would expect that the problem of liquidity crunch the county is facing would be largely over, but the government would have to be extra careful in making the most judicious use possible of the money so that not only the economy is able to get back on the rails but also the gnawing pains of the general public resulting from the unchecked inflationary spiral are brought within bearable limits. The economy is in dire straits, which are further compounded by power shortages, and would need careful planning to resuscitate. The food items that constitute a major cause of expenditure for a large number of our households have registered 33 percent rise in prices. The task seems quite awesome, but firm resolve buoyed up by the availability of necessary finances could help the country come out of the critical situation.