Islamic Republic of Pakistan : News, Discussions & Updates

Butter Chicken

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PAF ordered to shoot down US drones invading Pakistani airspace: Air Chief Sohail Aman - The Express Tribune

Chief of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman has said that the PAF has been given orders to shoot down any drones, including those of the US, if they violate the country’s airspace.

Talking to an audience in Islamabad, Aman said that the attack on Kamra Air Base was the biggest and most unfortunate tragedy in the PAF’s history.

“We suffered a lot of losses in the incident but did not lose our morale. In fact, we have continued the fight against extremism with unflinching vigor and resolve since then, transforming the PAF into a much stronger force.”

Talking about the terror threat emanating from Afghanistan, the air chief was of the opinion that where dozens of countries in the world had failed, the PAF had been successful in bringing about peace.

“Even Indian defence officials attest to our successes on the battlefield,” Aman boasted.

The PAF chief also informed the gathering that in the attack on Kamra Air Base, terrorists managed to destroy one PAF SAB plane completely, and also inflicted considerable damage upon another

“An international organisation wanted $287 million to to cover the material damage that the PAF sustained in the attack, but Pakistan’s bright, young scientists and engineers added two new, fully-functioning fighter planes to our fleet at a fraction of the cost,” Aman said.

“After the attack on Kamra Air Base, not only did we set out to make the PAF better and stronger, but we were also determined to guide the nation towards self-sufficiency. Now, Pakistan will make its own fighter jets.”

He also stressed that there was no shortage of talent in the country, but rather that the keen minds present here needed a platform on which to showcase their exceptional talents to the world.

Discussing security issues at large, the PAF chief noted that the region the country was based in was beset by different challenges and difficulties at the moment.

“Pakistan is unfortunate in the sense that our neighbours are trying to harm us. India, being our sworn enemy, was behind the attack on Kamran Air Base. What do terrorists want from PAF planes?” he asked.

We cannot, though, change our neighbours, Aman lamented.

“No outside power can engineer a democracy inside a country, nor is democracy the solution to every problem. Examples in Iraq and Libya are in front of us. After the fall of Qaddafi and Saddam, what happened in these countries? Did they get democracy?” Sohail Aman said while talking about Middle Eastern affairs.
 

muneer

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Pentagon Has No Plans to Lift Freeze on Funds for Pakistan

The United States and Pakistan remain at odds over Islamabad’s track record on countering Islamist militants near the Afghan border, and Washington has no plans to lift a freeze on a key reimbursement fund for the country, U.S. and Pakistani officials said Tuesday.

The Trump administration says Pakistan has not done enough to rein in the Haqqani network, which is blamed for lethal attacks in neighboring Afghanistan against civilians and U.S. and Afghan security forces. The impasse showed no sign of easing after a visit by Defense Secretary James Mattis to Islamabad on Monday.

“We did not talk about the Coalition Support Fund,” Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, told an audience at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on Tuesday.

In July, Mattis suspended payments to Pakistan from the Coalition Support Fund, which the United States uses to reimburse countries for counterterrorism operations. The Pentagon said it would not resume payments until the defense secretary could certify that Islamabad had taken sufficient action against the Haqqani network and other militants who cross into Afghanistan from sanctuaries in Pakistan.

The following month, U.S. President Donald Trump threatened even further cuts to assistance to Pakistan over allegations its government harbored Taliban and other militant groups operating in Afghanistan.

In his talks with Pakistan’s political, military, and intelligence leaders, Mattis said Pakistan had a crucial role to play in promoting peace talks for Afghanistan and “reiterated that Pakistan must redouble its efforts to confront militants and terrorists operating within the country,” the Pentagon said in a statement.

Lt. Col. Michael Andrews, a Pentagon spokesman, said payments to Pakistan from the fund are still frozen, and that “Secretary Mattis has not yet made a decision on the certification required” by Congress to release the $400 million in counterterrorism funds for Pakistan in fiscal 2017.

Another $650 million in payments that Pakistan would have received for the prior two fiscal years have already been “reprogrammed and are no longer available to Pakistan,” Andrews said.

The suspension may not be lifted for six months at the earliest, when fighting resumes in the summer months. U.S. officials say they will not be able to assess if Pakistan has made progress and fulfilled its promises to prevent the Haqqani militants from crossing into Afghanistan until then.

The freeze on the reimbursement fund comes amid increasingly sharp rhetoric directed at Pakistan from the Trump administration, which has warned Islamabad it must take action against the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani fighters who are able to regroup and rearm in safe havens in Pakistan.
Lol, who need American money? We are better without it.
 

Butter Chicken

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Pakistan to Send Astronauts Into Space Within 2 Years: Air Chief Marshal

Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman has announced that Pakistan will able to send astronauts into space with the collaboration of China within two years.

He was addressing as chief guest to the inauguration session of AirTech’17 conference, hosted by Air University, Islamabad.

AirTech’17 is Pakistan’s largest technical and scientific Olympiad, Airtech’17 being held at the Main Campus of Air University from 7th to 10th December.

Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, in his keynote address on Leadership, Education & Society Development, said that the purpose of education system must be to introduce latest technologies and contribute something positive for the betterment of society as a whole.

The Air Chief, answering a question, disclosed that Pakistan is currently working to manufacture next generation aircraft with the support of Chinese experts. In addition, China is also providing technical support to Pakistan for launching satellite program.

He further said that Pakistan is annually manufacturing 16 to 20 JF-17 aircraft which are much better than F-16 planes in performance. Talking about importance of national defence, he said that currently Pakistan is on right track to curb terrorism. The Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman emphasized that security, stability and prosperity are interlinked in the today’s world.
 

Manmohan_MMY

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Source : View: Blind trust in China is sending Pakistan hurtling down the Zimbabwe way

Blind trust in China is sending Pakistan hurtling down the Zimbabwe way

Political developments within Pakistan and the deepening China-Pakistan nexus are blighting the prospects of stability that our region sorely needs. China’s own highly authoritarian political system that its leadership believes is superior to western democracy, its suppression of dissent and repression of minorities countenance the worst political trends visible in Pakistan’s polity. If the US’ preferential policies towards the military over decades resulted in the stunting of the democratic institutions in Pakistan, China’s relationship with Pakistan, anchored deeply in the country’s military establishment, is having the same consequence today. The all-weather China-Pakistan relationship can never be good for Pakistan’s democracy because China has no stakes in it, ideological or otherwise.

China is planning to invest billions of dollars in Pakistan, and as we have seen in the case of Zimbabwe where, to protect its heavy investment, it intervened to effect a regime change of sorts by backing the army chief ’s move to overthrow Mugabe, it will always seek to control Pakistan’s politics through the military so that its humongous investment is insured against adverse political change.

If the US had earlier encouraged jihadi elements in Pakistan to serve the geopolitical objective of combating the Soviets in Afghanistan, China’s selectiveness in taking cognisance of jihadi groups operating in Pakistan gives cover today to the Pakistani military to continue using jihadi terrorism as part of its asymmetric warfare against India, thereby serving China’s geopolitical objectives of containing its Asian rival. General Musharraf ’s recent flaunting of his admiration for Hafiz Saeed and his organisation’s role to keep the Indian army in J&K under stress testify to this implicitly. No wonder China is determined, in complete disregard of India’s concerns, to prevent the designation of Masood Azhar as a terrorist by the UN and laud persistently Pakistan’s sacrifices in combating international terrorism which it wants the world to recognise.

The US is today pressuring Pakistan on jihadi terrorism and seeks progress on its demands within a certain time frame, but this is being countervailed by the support Rawalpindi is getting from China. If Hafiz Saeed has been released and protests from India and the US have been ignored, and if the strategy now is to mainstream him politically by allowing his organisation to participate in elections, the explanation for this defiance lies in the sense of security that the Pakistani establishment substantially derives from its Himalayan high and ocean deep relationship with China.

The latest manifestation of this is the conduct of the Pakistan army in dealing with a bunch of rabid Islamists violating law and order in Islamabad on a medieval era-type issue of “blasphemy”.

Not surprisingly, the Pakistani military, by conflating national interest with its own, refused to act against the law-breakers and chose to treat the government and the Islamist party on a par, brokering as well as guaranteeing a compromise agreement that unceremoniously forced out the law minister of the country. That through this the military has wanted to portray itself as the guardian of the Islamic ideology and uncompromising on the prophethood of Muhammad reflects the deepening challenge that Pakistan presents to its own future, as well as to India and the region as a whole.

In this overall context, prime minister Abbasi’s meaningless (for India) reiteration at the recent SCO conference at Sochi of Pakistan’s commitment to combat the three evils of terrorism, separatism and extremism and premier Li Keqiang’s reiteration of China’s full commitment to the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries (not meaningless for India) shows that the duo will continue to thwart India and regional stability as well.
 

Butter Chicken

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Senate committee to question recovered missing persons on who abducted them

The Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights on Thursday decided to summon recovered missing persons for an in-camera session to ask them directly who they had been picked up by.

The committee also decided that once the victims have recorded their statements, representatives of the apex intelligence agencies ─ Inter-Services Intelligence, Military Intelligence and the Intelligence Bureau ─ will be summoned before the committee and asked to explain their actions.

Briefing the committee during today's session, the additional interior secretary of Balochistan said that there are currently 136 people missing in the province. The secretary said that 120 people on the list have criminal records.

He added that bodies of 27 people have so far been found, while 104 people have been recovered alive. He added that attempts were being made to gather information on those who had returned home but had not been willing to record statements on the matter.

He added that some of the names on the list of missing persons were incorrect and, therefore, had been removed by the head of the Commission on Enforced Disappearances.

"We do not know who is behind the enforced disappearances," the secretary said. "In one or two cases, the relatives of the missing persons have blamed the agencies."

Senator Nasreen Jalil, who was presiding over the committee's session today, said that recovered missing persons should be called in and asked who picked them up. She said the committee could then call members of agencies and present the facts before them, and tell them that "this practice must now end".

Senator Farhatullah Babar said: "We all know who is picking them up but we don't make that information public."

Senator Jehanzeb Jamaldini demanded that the ISI, MI and IB be summoned in relation to the matter of enforced disappearances.

"Whoever is picking up these people is stronger than state institutions," Senator Babar said, demanding that the missing persons commission be dissolved and replaced with a new one.

"This matter is bringing disrepute to the country," the committee agreed.

According to the Inquiry Commission on Enforced Disappearances, 728 Pakistanis were added to the ‘missing persons’ list in 2016 ─ the highest number in at least six years ─ bringing the total to 1,219.

Disappearances of social activists have continued unabated in 2017, with five high-profile abductions of social media activists triggering nationwide protests earlier this year.

While four of them were later returned, Syed Samar Abbas, president of the Civil Progressive Alliance Pakistan, remains missing.

More recently, Zeenat Shahzadi, a journalists pursuing the case of a missing Indian citizen in Pakistan, was reported to have returned after remaining missing since 2015.

Although news of her return was confirmed by the former head of the Commission of Inquiry into Enforced Disappearances and her mother a few weeks ago, the current whereabouts of Shahzadi and her family are unknown.
 

Butter Chicken

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Foreign exchange: SBP's reserves decrease 6.55%, stand at $12.7b

KARACHI: Foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) declined 6.55% on a weekly basis, according to data released by the central bank on Thursday.

On November 30, foreign currency reserves held by the central bank were recorded at $12,660.5 million, down $886.8 million or 6.55% compared to $13,547.3 million in the previous week, according to the central bank.

The decrease in reserves was attributed to external debt and other official payments, a development that raises concerns over looming obligations on an already burdened economy.

Overall, liquid foreign reserves held by the country, including net reserves held by banks other than the SBP, stood at $18,744.9 million. Net reserves held by banks amounted to $6,084.4 million.

However, keeping in mind the worrying reserves’ level, the SBP was quick to add that on December 5 it received $2.5 billion as “proceeds from Pakistan Sovereign bonds and Pakistan International Sukuk, after which its reserves stand at $14,883.1 million, and total liquid foreign reserves are up at $20,986.4 million”.

Pakistan recently raised $2.5 billion by floating dollar-denominated sovereign bonds in the international market in a bid to shore up official reserves.

A few months ago, foreign currency reserves also surged due to official inflows including $622 million from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and $106 million from the World Bank.

Earlier, the SBP received $350 million under the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) and made payments of $62 million for external debt servicing.

In January, the SBP made a $500-million loan repayment to the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), China.
 

BlackOpsIndia

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Pakistan to Send Astronauts Into Space Within 2 Years: Air Chief Marshal

Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman has announced that Pakistan will able to send astronauts into space with the collaboration of China within two years.

He was addressing as chief guest to the inauguration session of AirTech’17 conference, hosted by Air University, Islamabad.

AirTech’17 is Pakistan’s largest technical and scientific Olympiad, Airtech’17 being held at the Main Campus of Air University from 7th to 10th December.

Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, in his keynote address on Leadership, Education & Society Development, said that the purpose of education system must be to introduce latest technologies and contribute something positive for the betterment of society as a whole.

The Air Chief, answering a question, disclosed that Pakistan is currently working to manufacture next generation aircraft with the support of Chinese experts. In addition, China is also providing technical support to Pakistan for launching satellite program.

He further said that Pakistan is annually manufacturing 16 to 20 JF-17 aircraft which are much better than F-16 planes in performance. Talking about importance of national defence, he said that currently Pakistan is on right track to curb terrorism. The Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman emphasized that security, stability and prosperity are interlinked in the today’s world.

Afghan weed on steroids. Pure maal mil gaya general Saab ko finally.
 
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Paro

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I really do not know what they smoke, but it must be something very potent

HAHA, you should listen to the whole thing, you'll roll over and die, He said Pakistan is designing a 5th gen aircraft all by themselves but little assistance from their brother and fly it by 2021

" Several European countries collectedly manufactured a Euro Fighter but we alone are going to manufacture a fifth-generation fighter plane under the project "Azam", Aman maintained. The civilians are comprising 60 percent of the workforce in the project, he further said, adding that "it will take five years to initiate the production of fifth-generation aircraft".
 

Paro

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Intruders traced on radar won't be able to go back, warns air chief
Dawn.com | Naveed SiddiquiDecember 07, 2017

Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman on Thursday warned that the violators of Pakistan's airspace will not be spared — be it an enemy aircraft or a US drone.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of Air Tech Conference and Techno Show in Islamabad, the air chief said: "We will soon launch a new satellite [...] the country will be able to send astronauts into space within next two years."

We are also working on unmanned drones and a new unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) will be manufactured in next 18 months, he told the audiences.

Aman said that when the United States drones had violated the Pakistani airspace, the air force had told the US authorities that their drones would be knocked down if they entered the country's airspace again.

"We had also knocked down an Iranian drone in Pakistani territory," he said, adding that any flying object tracked on radar while violating the national borders, will not be able to go back.

Aman, however, asserted that a war with the US would not be in the favour of the country.

Talking about the regional situation, he said the country cannot change its neighbours. "India, China, Afghanistan, and Iran are our neighbours and will remain."

What was done in Iraq and Lybia in the name of democracy is open to all to ponder upon, he said and remarked that no one can impose the democracy of its own will on anyone.

Our brave nation has countered the menace of terrorism with valour, the air chief said. "We have defeated extremism," he said, adding that the country was still striving to establish durable peace. "Now the terrorists come from Afghanistan to carry out terrorist activities."

Talking about the professional capability of the force, he said that the Pakistan Air Force was praised even by its rivals, including India.

"The SAAB airplanes, destroyed in the Kamera attack, were repaired domestically. Sweden had asked for a huge amount to repair the planes but we managed to repair them with our limited resources and times," he said.

He said that the JF 17 Thunder is the pride and identity of the nation. We opted to manufacture the JF 17 Thunder when we were denied provision of F-16, he said, adding that the JF 17 Thunder is better than F-16 in four disciplines.

We are manufacturing weapons after the US denied us to provide the same as everything is possible with belief and determination, he said.

Several European countries collectedly manufactured a Euro Fighter but we alone are going to manufacture a fifth-generation fighter plane under the project "Azam", Aman maintained. The civilians are comprising 60 per cent of the workforce in the project, he further said, adding that "it will take five years to initiate the production of fifth-generation aircraft".

He was optimistic that with the technical support of China, our aircraft manufacturing industry will flourish.

The air chief made it clear that the country has no ambitions beyond its borders and warned that none should try to interfere in Pakistan. "We will protect the sovereignty of the country at any cost," he vowed.

By 2020, the Pakistan Airforce will not only be self-sufficient in the production of its required weapons but will also be ready to sell out the weapons.
Intruders traced on radar won't be able to go back, warns air chief - Pakistan - DAWN.COM
 
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Manmohan_MMY

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HAHA, you should listen to the whole thing, you'll roll over and die, He said Pakistan is designing a 5th gen aircraft all by themselves but little assistance from their brother and fly it by 2021

" Several European countries collectedly manufactured a Euro Fighter but we alone are going to manufacture a fifth-generation fighter plane under the project "Azam", Aman maintained. The civilians are comprising 60 percent of the workforce in the project, he further said, adding that "it will take five years to initiate the production of fifth-generation aircraft".
Overdose ???
 

Butter Chicken

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Need to revisit teachings in Pakistani madrassas: Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa

KARACHI: In an unusual move, Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa has criticised the role of mushrooming madrassas, which mostly taught only Islamic theology, underlining the need to revisit the religious schools concept in the Muslim majority country.

"I am not against madrassas, but we have lost the essence of madrassas," the Nation newspaper quoted the powerful general telling a youth conference in Quetta, capital of the restive Balochistan province, stressing the need to revisit the religious schools concept.

Speaking at a seminar on 'Human resource development -- opportunities and challenges' yesterday, he noted that there were more religious seminaries established in Balochistan than the modern and quality schools during the past four decades.

"Only religious education is being imparted to the students at all the seminaries and thus the students educated from the seminaries are left behind in the race for development," he was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune.

"We need to look at and revisit the concept of madrassas...We need to give them a worldly education," he was quoted as saying.

Bajwa also commented on the Army's role in Pakistan. The Army enjoys considerable influence over major policy decisions in Pakistan.

He said the Army is a state institution meant to serve the nation.

"Army shall continue to perform its role while national security and development remains a national obligation for all state institutions," the Inter-Service Public Relations quoted him as saying.
 

Butter Chicken

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NED University makes Chinese programme compulsory for freshmen

The NED University of Engineering and Technology (NED) has made learning Chinese mandatory for all first-year students inducted in 2017 and beyond, according to a notification issued by the university's registrar.

All students from the university's latest batch have been asked to register by Dec 15 for the "Chinese Language" course being offered.

Interest in Chinese languages, mainly Mandarin, has picked up considerably in Pakistan ever since the formal announcement of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.

This trend has also been noted at the National University of Modern Languages (NUML) in Islamabad, which is dedicated to language studies.
 

Butter Chicken

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In talks with IMF, Pakistan agrees to depreciate rupee

ISLAMABAD: Amid a policy decision on Friday to allow rupee depreciation, Pakistan and an International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation concluded the first round of discussions on the country’s economy. Now members of the IMF delegation and Pakistan team are taking a two-day break to prepare for the policy-level wrap-up by Dec 13-14.

A senior official told Dawn that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) would now let the currency exchange rate to adjust to market conditions after many months, rather years, of resisting expectations. The timing of the move was planned for Friday to ensure materialisation of $2.5 billion worth of receipts from two international bonds launched last month.

This calculated move allowed the currency rate to touch Rs110 to a dollar on Friday before settling down at around Rs107 and did not go beyond official estimates. The two weekend holidays would give a breathing space instead of over-steaming the exchange rate.

The sources said that the IMF had concerns over the health of Pakistan’s external sector, but the government authorities had different opinions. As the two sides concluded technical talks, the IMF team will prepare a report of its assessment over the weekend and share with Pakistan officials on Monday for the feedback and discussions.

While the government team, led by secretary of finance Shahid Mehmood will review the assessment, the IMF mission to Pakistan, led by Harald Finger, will visit Lahore next week for talks with provincial authorities including Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and independent observers and researchers from the business community and representatives of a private-sector university.

The authorities believed the currency adjustment would help shift foreign currency holdings from commercial banks currently standing at a higher level of around $6 billion back to official reserves and help divert remittances to official channels with declining gap among the official, banking and open market rates.

For the first time after many months, the central bank is reported to have noticed exporters to offload their positions. In the long run, the recent imposition or increase in the import duties and regulatory duties would make unnecessary imports expensive.

An official said that projections for CPEC-related repayments were within the range already discussed by the two sides in connection with debt sustainability analysis as $23 billion worth of projects were currently under various stages of implementation, including $17 billion in the energy sector by the private sector. About $6 billion worth of projects are in the road sector.

While a clean certificate of economic health from the IMF is useful for international financial institutions and investment sentiment, the two sides are reported to have noted that recent bond results were very positive for the fact that this was the first fund raising from international capital market without the IMF programme after many years and attracted favourable response and rates despite high twin deficits, showing confidence of international investors and good reflection of fundamentals.

Pakistan would continue to remain under the IMF’s post-programme monitoring (PPM) until about 2023 for borrowing significantly higher than its quota. The threshold for Pakistan to move out of the PPM is estimated at 1.4 billion special drawing rights (SDRs) of the IMF that now stand around 4.3 SDRs.

He said that Pakistan had achieved fiscal consolidation without compromising on expenditures on development and social protection and the government had set its eyes on achieving 6pc GDP growth which was inclusive, pro-poor and sustainable. Mr Mahmood said that the recent successful launch of Sukuk and Euro Bond were also discussed briefly.
 
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Butter Chicken

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After debt repayments in coming months, SBP’s own net reserves will be a mere $4.5 billion

ISLAMABAD: Usable foreign currency reserves available with all commercial banks have slid to a mere $200 million, as the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has swished away $5.8 billion as short-term loans in an attempt to give an artificial sense of stability to the currency market.

As of August this year, the central bank borrowed $5.81 billion from commercial banks under the forward and currency swap arrangements, according to data SBP released on Friday after a delay.

As of November 2017, the SBP’s official foreign currency reserves were $12.66 billion including $5.8 billion worth of currency swaps and forward contracts. Despite showing $5.8 billion as part of its own reserves, the SBP has also included the same amount in the total $6.01 billion reserves held by commercial banks.

By excluding $5.8 billion of short-term loans, the net usable reserves with the commercial banks stand at only $200 million. Out of $5.8 billion, $1.68 billion was obtained for one month, $2.46 billion for up to three months and $1.7 billion for up to one year, according to the SBP.

“This is clearly double counting of $5.8 billion. In principle, it should have excluded this sum from the commercial banks’ reserves,” said Dr Ashfaque Hasan Khan, former director general of Debt of Ministry of Finance.

In 1998, the then PML-N government had consumed foreign currency deposits of commercial banks after global powers imposed sanctions on Pakistan in retaliation to nuclear bomb explosions. However, to protect depositors’ reserves, the central bank had started separately reporting both the official and private currency reserves.

The SBP has been using precious foreign currency reserves to defend an artificial exchange rate that it finally adjusted by 1.4% on Friday. The Pak rupee-US dollar exchange rate in the interbank market closed at Rs107 as against Rs105.5 a day earlier.

Sources said that the net foreign currency reserves of the central bank would stand close to $4.5 billion even after including $2.5 billion that Pakistan borrowed last month from international debt markets.

They said that the $5.8 billion amount has to be excluded from the SBP’s gross official reserves of $15.1 billion, which will bring down the reserves to $9.3 billion. Then another $4.8 billion have to be excluded on account of repayment of external debt in the coming months, they added.

The country is going to make bullet foreign debt repayments in the next couple of months, said the sources.

There was a massive increase in contracting short-term loans after the expiry of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme in September last year. During its three-year programme, the IMF had kept Pakistan under check by placing two main conditions. One was related to the Net International Reserves that is calculated by excluding the impact of currency swap loans. The other was on reducing the short-term loans obtained under currency swap arrangements.

When the IMF programme ended, the forward and currency swap-related obligations of the SBP amounted to $1.985 billion by June 2016. In a span of just 14 months, SBP’s exposure increased by 190%.

The country’s external sector remains under pressure due to exponential increase in trade deficit on back of declining exports and double-digit growth in imports. Pakistan’s current account deficit widened to $5.1 billion in just four months of this fiscal year, which was more than double than the previous year’s level.