KARACHI (AFP) - Pakistan is to ask for an additional loan of 4.5 billion dollars from the International Monetary Fund to patch up an economy wilting under a widening trade deficit, an official said Tuesday. The request will be on top of a 7.6 billion dollar advance already agreed with the IMF, and comes as Pakistani officials meet creditors to review how the cash is being spent. At the talks in Dubai, which are due to last until February 26, Pakistani and IMF officials will assess financial targets set for the country to qualify for the second installment of the loan, a finance ministry official said. "During that meeting, Pakistan will ask for an additional loan of 4.5 billion dollars," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised by the government to release the information. It was not immediately clear whether the IMF would grant the request. Pakistan got 3.1 billion dollars in the first tranche of a 23-month standby IMF loan last November, with subsequent payments dependent on Islamabad fulfilling targets set by the Fund. Among other tight demands, the IMF wants a reduction in Pakistan's deficit and its huge borrowing from the central State Bank of Pakistan. "The IMF had given us a target of controlling the budget deficit at two percent, which we achieved at 1.9 percent by the end of the first half of this fiscal year," the finance ministry official said. "There has been a noticeable decline in the volume of government borrowing from the State Bank of Pakistan for budgetary support," the official said. "Such borrowings reduced by 220 billion rupees (2.7 billion dollars) in the second quarter of this fiscal year," he added. The SBP's recent decision to leave its discount rate unchanged at 15pc for the remainder of the fiscal year was also in line with the Fund's preconditions, the official said. Analysts said loans were unavoidable until Pakistan reduces its trade deficit, which is 21.5 billion dollars this fiscal year. "The government will have to make revolutionary changes in its export policy to get the trade deficit narrowed but that will take a few years," Kaiser Bengali, an independent economist, told AFP. "Until then we'll have look for money from outside."