Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is addressing PM’s National Innovation Awards ceremony in Islamabad on June 19, Monday. — PID

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has praised China for supporting Pakistan during tough economic times while emphasizing the need for getting “rid of foreign loans” to become self-sufficient.

Addressing the PM’s National Innovation Awards ceremony in Islamabad on Monday, the PM remarked: “China is fully supporting Pakistan and $1 billion have been received from China.”

In a major boost to the forex reserves, China announced refinancing $1 billion loan in Pakistan, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) confirmed late on Friday.

The news of the refinancing came after Finance Minister Ishaq Dar informed the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue on Friday that China would be refinancing the $1 billion loan it had given to Pakistan earlier.

“$1 billion will come from China today or on Monday,” Dar had told the lawmakers. He also said that talks are ongoing with the Bank of China for a loan of $300 million. He added that Pakistan would also receive dollars under China’s swap agreement.

Speaking at the ceremony earlier today, the prime minister also praised Saudi Arabia, Qatar and UAE for helping Pakistan in the challenging times.

PM Shehbaz emphasised the need for getting rid of foreign loans saying the friendly countries also urged Pakistan to use foreign loans efficiently to fully utilise the potential of natural resources.

The prime minister said Pakistan has been “blessed” with natural resources and it has capacity to become self-sufficient.

“We will come out of the economic and financial challenges,” the premier said.

He also proposed non-partisan agenda to lift the country out of crisis saying that all stakeholders including opposition parties needed to agree on the economic and foreign policy agenda to ensure continuation of the policies.

“The whole nation has to decide upon one national agenda with salient contours for foreign and economic policies,” he reiterated.

He said the challenges were faced by the nations and stressed that they should make a promise to change fate of Pakistan without seeking foreign debts.

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