Islamabad - Toughening its stance, Pakistan has decided not to accept any IMF loan on tough and harsh conditions and the country would go for alternative plan to generate additional resources to build foreign exchange reserves.
As Pakistan is all set to seek bailout package worth up to $ 5 billion from International Monetary Fund to repay the previous loans, the government has decided not to accept any tough conditions from IMF. The government fears that IMF may ask for reformed general sales tax and increase in power tariff for new loan programme, which would be a challenge for the new government of PML-N.
“The government will opt for an alternative plan if IMF links it with tough and harsh conditions,” said a finance ministry official while talking to The Nation on Wednesday. Talking about the alternative plan, the finance ministry official said that they had also plan B that would help in generating foreign reserves worth three billion dollars to repay the previous loans. He added Pakistan would receive around one billion dollars by auctioning 3G licences, $ 800 million due amount from Etisalat against privatisation of Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) and due amount of $ 1.2 billion under coalition support fund from the United States.
Similarly, he said the government would ask the friendly countries to provide budgetary support and it would also auction bonds in international market.
Pakistan and IMF would hold policy level talks from June 28. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Frank Jeffery would lead their respective teams in talks. Sources said that Pakistan would formally make a request for fresh loans worth three to five billion dollars from the IMF, as already announced by the finance minister. Pakistan has to repay loans of $3 billion to the Fund during the financial year 2013-2014 that would put additional pressure on depleting foreign exchange reserves of the country. Foreign reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan stood at $ 6.24 billion. IMF has already showed serious concerns over the revenue collection target and reduction in interest rate by State Bank of Pakistan.
10 foreign trekkers’ bodies identified
The local authorities here in the federal capital on Wednesday completed the identification process of dead bodies of 10 foreign trekkers who were shot dead by gunmen at the base camp of Nanga Parbat.
Among these 10 dead bodies, seven have been kept at the Polyclinic Hospital of Islamabad and three at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS). “All the 10 dead bodies of the foreign climbers have been identified but they are yet to be handed over to the respective embassies,” the officials deputed at both these hospitals said on Wednesday.
Out of the total 10 dead bodies, two climbers belong to China, one is US-based Chinese, two are from Ukraine, two from Slovakia and one each hailed from Nepal and Lithuania, the hospital authorities said.
The relatives and officials of relevant embassies Tuesday visited both the hospitals for identification of dead bodies of their dear ones. The relatives of the three Chinese climbers had also visited PIMS to make the identification.
On the other hand, the federal government in cooperation with the respective embassies is making necessary arrangements to send back around 40 climbers who had been shifted to Islamabad from Gilgit-Baltistan after this tragic incident.  These climbers had been airlifted in and around the base camp of Nanga Parabt after the government suspended expeditions there. “These climbers would fly back to their countries within the next couple of days,” an official of the Alpine Club of Pakistan said.