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Pakistan PM seeks loans to reservice debts, investments

By Katie Paul and Marwa Rashad
Pakistan's Prime Minister, Imran Khan speaks during a news conference at Saudi investment summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia October 23, 2018 in this still image taken from a video. Saudi TV/Reuters TV/via REUTERS

By Katie Paul and Marwa Rashad

RIYADH (Reuters) - Pakistan is seeking loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and friendly countries to reservice debt and shore up its economy, prime minister Imran Khan said on Tuesday.

"What we are hoping is that we do a bit of both, get a loan from IMF and other loans from friendly governments," Khan told an audience at an investment conference in Saudi Arabia's capital, Riyadh.

Islamabad has already asked the IMF to open negotiations for the country's second potential bailout in five years.

Khan, who took office in July, has also been seeking alternatives to the tough conditions the IMF is likely to impose for loans.

Khan is in Saudi Arabia for the second time this month seeking to shore up financial aid as the country reels from a looming balance of payments crisis.

"One thing Pakistan needs more than any other country right now is peace and security," Khan said on Tuesday.

Imran said he had tried to extend hand of peace to India, had not received a response, but hoped to resume efforts to improve ties with India after national elections there.

In September, India called off the meeting between the nuclear-armed neighbours' foreign ministers, planned for the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly the same month.

The foreign ministry in New Delhi said at the time its decision was to protest against the killing of Indian security personnel in Kashmir and a Pakistani postage stamp that it said was "glorifying" an anti-India separatist.

Pakistan said India was just looking for excuses to avoid holding talks before next year's national elections.

Imran said the country also needs two oil refineries to meet demand, and it was talking to Saudi investors about the projects. Khan said Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was organising a delegation of Saudi businessmen to invest in Pakistan.


(Reporting by Katie Paul and Marwa Rashad, writing by Hadeel Al Sayegh; Editing by Saeed Azhar and Andrew Heavens)