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International relations

Pakistan army chief assumes loan diplomacy role amid forex crisis

Munir's Saudi Arabia, UAE trips likely timed to avert Islamabad debt default

The economic crisis in Pakistan likely prompted army chief Lt. Gen. Syed Asim Munir to directly ask wealthy Saudi Arabia and the UAE for new monetary assistance. (Nikkei montage/AP)

ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan's chief of army staff Gen. Asim Munir completed his weeklong tour of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday, during which sources and experts believe he sought urgent financial assistance from the Gulf monarchies to prevent Islamabad from defaulting on its loans.

This is not the first time a Pakistani army chief has engaged in economic diplomacy to ease the country's crisis. In July last year, Munir's predecessor Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa requested the White House and U.S. Treasury Department to push the International Monetary Fund for immediate lending of nearly $1.2 billion under its resumed loan program.

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