India-Pakistan Peace Process and Ties May Not Improve Before 2020

PM Imran Khan displayed keen interest to improve Indian-Pakistan ties. Pakistan is expecting to resume efforts to improve bilateral ties with India after the national elections in India in 2019, before which Islamabad suspects the Modi Government may not engage. The Indian general elections are expected somewhere in April, May 2019.

“One thing Pakistan needs more than any other country right now is peace and security,” he said at an investment conference in Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh.

In September, India protested against the killing of security personnel in Kashmir and a Pakistani postage stamp that it said was “glorifying” a terrorist and called off the meeting between the foreign ministers of the two countries, planned for the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in the same month.

Mr 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. At the conference, he also said that Pakistan is seeking loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and friendly countries to re-service debt and shore up its economy.

“What we are hoping is that we do a bit of both, get a loan from IMF and other loans from friendly governments,” Mr Khan told an audience in Saudi Arabia. Islamabad has already asked the IMF to open negotiations for the country’s second potential bailout in five years.

Mr Khan, who took office in July, has also been seeking alternatives to the tough conditions the IMF is likely to impose for loans. Mr Khan said the country also needs two oil refineries to meet demand, and it was talking to Saudi investors about the projects. Mr Khan said Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was organising a delegation of Saudi businessmen to invest in Pakistan.

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