Pakistan is likely to receive $2 billion in bilateral support from Qatar to help cushion its financial crunch and the subsequent risk of default. The country is also expected to receive $1 billion from Saudi Arabia in oil financing and in investments from UAE worth similar amount. During a briefing, Murtaza Syed – State Bank of Pakistan’s acting governor – said that the funds are expected to be received over a span of more than 12 months. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is also visiting Qatar. However, Syed shared that an announcement regarding the assistance may or may not be announced during the visit. The pledges arrive before an IMF board meeting on Aug 29, which could lead to the release of $1.2 billion in financing.
Earlier in the day, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail met his Qatari counterpart Ali bin Ahmed Al-Kuwari to discuss bilateral relations and explore areas of joint cooperation. PM Shehbaz is scheduled to pay a two-day official visit to Qatar from today (Tuesday) on the invitation of Amir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. This will be the prime minister’s first visit to Qatar since assuming office in April 2022. He will be accompanied by a high-level delegation, including key members of the cabinet. During the visit, the prime minister will hold in-depth consultations with the Qatari leadership. The two sides will review the entire spectrum of bilateral relations, with a particular focus on advancing energy-related cooperation, deepening trade and investment ties, and exploring greater employment opportunities for Pakistanis in Qatar. Views on a range of regional and international issues of mutual interest would also be exchanged. While in Doha, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will also engage with leading Qatari and Pakistani business leaders, investors and entrepreneurs.
He will visit “Stadium 974” in Doha, where he would be briefed on the extensive preparations undertaken by the Qatari government to host the FIFA World Cup. Pakistan and Qatar enjoy close and cordial fraternal ties, rooted deep in shared faith, mutual trust and understanding, and close cooperation. The relationship is marked by growing collaboration in all fields of bilateral interest as well as close coordination on regional and international issues.