Pakistan Debt Moratorium?

-- Who says economic sanctions never work? Pakistan, penalized by the U.S. and its allies because of its nuclear-weapons tests, may have to declare a moratorium on servicing some of its approximately $30 billion of outstanding foreign debt. Finance Minister Sartaj Aziz said on July 8 that the moratorium could start soon unless flows of foreign-currency aid resume.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been holding urgent talks with International Monetary Fund officials. He wants the IMF to release further tranches of $1.6 billion in credit that was approved last October, before the nuclear tests. Disbursements are blocked by sanctions, which Pakistan argues shouldn't be be applied by the IMF.

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