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Pakistan enters crucial month for IMF talks to avoid default

Islamabad chafes at fund official's remarks on adhering to constitution

People wait to receive food handouts in Karachi on March 30: Pakistan is caught in an economic crisis and faces a tight window to strike a deal with the IMF.   © Reuters

ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan has one month to satisfy the International Monetary Fund before its stalled support program expires, raising the risk of a sovereign default. But just as the cash-strapped country enters crunchtime, friction between the government and the fund is clouding its prospects.

Commenting on Pakistan's situation earlier this week, IMF Mission Chief Nathan Porter said Islamabad must arrange new foreign loans, approve a new budget in line with the fund's guidelines and allow the open market to determine the value of the rupee, if it is to revive the $6.5 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) agreed in 2019.

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