Friday, March 24, 2023

Pakistan Army to assist Qatar with security in FIFA World Cup

The Pakistan Army will assist Qatar with security in the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2022 being held in the Middle Eastern country.

The approval was given by the federal cabinet to the Pakistan Army-Qatar agreement on providing assistance during the mega football event from November 20 to December 18, The News reported.

The Gulf country will be hosting the extravaganza for the very first time.

Pakistan will receive $2 billion from Qatar in bilateral support to help ease the South Asian nation’s funding crunch and the consequent risk of a default, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said.

The country will also get $1 billion in oil financing from Saudi Arabia and a similar amount in investments from the UAE, The News reported.

All the funds are expected over twelve months, SBP deputy governor Murtaza Syed said in a briefing.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is visiting Qatar on August 23 and 24 and “an announcement of the assistance may or may not be announced during the trip”, Syed added.

The pledges come before an International Monetary Fund (IMF) board meeting on August 29 that could lead to the release of $1.2 billion in financing.

Arab nations had committed to supporting Pakistan only after it secured an IMF programme, while the Washington-based lender has been seeking a commitment from Saudi Arabia.

The Pakistan rupee is the best performer globally this month and has gained 11 per cent since dropping to a record low last month as worries over a possible default fade, according to data tracked by Bloomberg.

The SBP, meanwhile, left its benchmark interest rate unchanged due to easing external financing worries amid indications that the country may soon receive a bailout approval from the IMF.

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