ADB to give Pakistan $2.1bln in reforms support this year

Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Pakistan held a series of country consultations in Islamabad to formulate a new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), on July 9, 2019. (Photo Courtesy ADB Twitter)
Updated 10 July 2019

ADB to give Pakistan $2.1bln in reforms support this year

  • Plans indicative lending of up to $10bn for various development projects in the next five years
  • Partnership strategy will be aligned with government's growth vision, country director says

ISLAMABAD: As part of plans to support Pakistan’s reform and development programs, officials from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said on Monday that the lender plans to provide $2.1 billion out of $3.4 billion funds during the current fiscal year.
Representatives from the ADB and the government held a series of meetings in Islamabad on Monday to formulate a new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) which will guide the lender’s engagement in Pakistan from 2020 to 2024.
In a statement released on Monday, ADB’s Country Director for Pakistan, Xiaohong Yang said that the partnership strategy will prioritize innovation, analytical support, public–private partnership, and the application of new technologies.
“ADB plans to provide about $2.1 billion out of $3.4 billion funds to support Pakistan’s reform and development programs during fiscal year 2019–2020,” Yang said.
ADB has plans to support Pakistan with indicative lending of up to $10 billion for various development projects and programs during the next five years, the statement added.
“ADB’s partnership strategy will be aligned with the government’s development vision and policies, and is expected to introduce new approaches to development financing in urban services, energy security, transport, agriculture and water resources, education, trade, and tourism,” Yang said.
Nadeem Babar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for the Petroleum Division discussed the implementation of the energy sector reforms during the meetings.
Representatives from the provincial governments of Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan also attended the consultations and outlined key features of their development and growth strategies. 
Babar, for his part, said that the new strategy is being formulated “at an important juncture.”
“ADB’s concessionary and result-oriented assistance will strengthen the government’s efforts to address fiscal imbalances in the energy sector through meaningful and robust reform programs and development projects,” he said, adding that the consultations will “signify the enduring partnership between the government and the people of Pakistan and ADB.”
Pakistan became a founding member of the ADB in 1966 and since then has received $32 billion in project assistance. “The country has since been working with ADB to strengthen its key infrastructure, social services, and economic growth,” the statement said.


Ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s mother to be laid to rest in Lahore today

Updated 28 November 2020

Ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s mother to be laid to rest in Lahore today

  • Begum Shamim Akhtar passed away in London last Sunday
  • Her elder son attended her funeral prayers in a mosque in Britain before her body was flown back to Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: A leading Pakistani political family has made funeral arrangements in Lahore for an elderly member who passed away in London last Sunday and whose body was brought back to Pakistan earlier today.
Begum Shamim Akhtar, whose sons Nawaz and Shehbaz Sharif have spent decades in national politics, will be laid to rest after her family offers her funeral prayers on Saturday.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) founding leader and the country’s former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, prayed for the departed soul in a small congregation at a mosque in London where he currently resides after securing a medical bail and flying out of Pakistan in November 2019.
The Sharif family has been facing a slew of corruption allegations since the Panama Papers were leaked in April 2016.
The country’s top court disqualified Nawaz Sharif from holding public office in July 2017, and he was convicted by an accountability court the next year.
His younger brother, Shehbaz, and nephew, Hamza, have also been facing corruption references and were released from prison on a five-day parole to perform Begum Akhtar’s last rites.
The elder Sharif also missed his father’s funeral in 2004 since he was denied permission to return to his country from exile in Saudi Arabia by the administration of General (r) Pervez Musharraf.