The Straits Times says

A time of reckoning for Pakistan

Left with foreign currency reserves that can buy two months of imports at most, the result of years of imprudent economic stewardship which let imports balloon and exports shrink, Pakistan is staring at debt default. Prime Minister Imran Khan must soon decide whether to approach the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout - a process that will reveal both the depth of his government's enthusiasm for China's Belt and Road Initiative and the success of an attempt under way to reset Islamabad's shaky ties with the United States.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had expressed reservations in July that the IMF funds would be funnelled into servicing Pakistan's biggest creditor, China, to pay off debt incurred on the grandest project conceived under President Xi Jinping's trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative: the US$62 billion (S$85 billion) China-Pakistan Economic Corridor connecting China's Xinjiang province to Pakistan's south-western Gwadar port.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 13, 2018, with the headline 'A time of reckoning for Pakistan'. Print Edition | Subscribe