ISLAMABAD - Qatar will provide more financial assistance in form of deposits and direct investments to boost Pakistan’s forex reserves.

This was announced by officials of both Qatar and Pakistan yesterday; however, there was some confusion about the volume of first installment of aid.

While Pakistani officials and most of national and international media outlets put the amount at $3 billion, the official Qatar news agency quoted the volume of assistance to be 3 billion Qatar Riyals - which is even less than $1 billion.

A tweet by the Qatari news agency said: “Upon the directives of HH the Amir [Shiekh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani], the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs announces of new investments in the form of deposits and direct investments worth a total of QR3 billion in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.”

A later tweet by the same agency said: “The Qatari-Pakistani economic partnership will amount to $9 billion. Qatar affirms its aspiration for further development in the relations between the two countries at all political, economic, sports and cultural levels.” The Gulf state is the fourth nation that has come forward to rescue Pakistan from default during past 11 months as Prime Minister Imran Khan-led government tried to overcome a ballooning balance-of-payments crisis.

Earlier, China gave $4.6 billion in shape of deposits and commercial loans and Saudi Arabia provided $3 billion cash deposit and $3.2 billion oil facility on deferred payments. The United Arab Emirates provided $2 billion cash deposit.

Over the weekend, Qatari Emir Shiekh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani was in Pakistan to a warm reception by Prime Minister Imran Khan. Sheikh Al Thani was accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising key ministers and senior officials. During his stay, he held talks with PM Khan and President Dr Arif Alvi. The Qatari leader met PM Khan on the first day of his visit besides a number of other engagements.

The President also conferred highest civil award Nishan-e-Pakistan on Emir of Qatar Shiekh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in a special investiture ceremony.

During his visit, the two sides discussed ways and means of building a robust and mutually beneficial economic partnership. Pakistan and Qatar also signed Memorandums of Understanding and agreements for enhanced bilateral cooperation in different areas. The Qatari leader left yesterday after completing the two-day trip. It was the second visit of Qatari Emir to Pakistan after assuming power in 2013.

Shiekh Al Thani had evinced keen interest in enhanced collaboration in energy sector and import of food items from Pakistan. The Emir had also offered assistance in building Pakistan’s tourism potential through more Qatari investments and technical support in the hospitality industry.

Adviser to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has also thanked the Emir of Qatar for showing support to Pakistan.

“Want to thank the Emir of Qatar HRH Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani for announcing US $3 Billion in #deposits and direct #investments for #Pakistan and for #Qatar’s affirmation to further develop relations between the two countries,” he tweeted.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan also thanked Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani adding “this will create new business opportunities in Pakistan and it will also strengthen the investment initiative of the government.”

She added: “This is proof of international leaders’ confidence in PM Imran Khan’s government. This is a first step to further boost the relations between Qatar and Pakistan. The amount will help Pakistan overcome its economic challenges.”

Qatar’s funds come as Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund reached an agreement in May on a loan of about $6 billion designed to help the country avert an economic crisis.

Qatar’s financial assistance was announced by its foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani. “Upon the directives of HH the Amir, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs announces of new investments in the form of deposits and direct investments worth a total of QR3 billion in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan,” Qatar’s official media tweeted.

“The Qatari-Pakistani economic partnership will amount to $9 billion. Qatar affirms its aspiration for further development in the relations between the two countries at all political, economic, sports and cultural levels,” the Qatari FM was quoted as saying.

Pakistan will also receive $1.5 billion in trade finance from the Jeddah-based financing arm of the Islamic Development Bank, the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation.