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Pakistan Army Chief Undertakes Maiden Visit to China to Boost Ties

© AP Photo / W.K. YousufzaiFILE - Pakistan army Lt. Gen. Syed Asim Munir attends a ceremony in Islamabad, Pakistan, Nov. 1, 2022.
FILE - Pakistan army Lt. Gen. Syed Asim Munir attends a ceremony in Islamabad, Pakistan, Nov. 1, 2022. - Sputnik India, 1920, 25.04.2023
Asian giant China is widely recognized as Pakistan's all-weather ally, with Beijing having close defense and economic ties with Islamabad.
Pakistan Army Chief General Asim Munir arrived in Beijing on Tuesday, kickstarting his four-day official visit to China in a bid to boost the defense partnership between the two nations, the army revealed in an official statement.

This is General Munir's maiden visit to China. While it has now become a custom in Pakistan that the new chief of army staff goes on a Chinese visit weeks after his appointment, Munir's trip got delayed due to the escalating internal crisis in the South Asian nation.

Crisis-stricken Pakistan is currently dealing with an economic, political, and constitutional crisis with the government and the judiciary pulling each other in the opposite direction over the conduct of Punjab's provincial polls.
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Moreover, ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan's party Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and the Shehbaz Sharif-led coalition continue to remain at loggerheads on various issues.

Pakistan is facing one of its worst financial crises in decades. With just over $4 billion in foreign reserves, the country can sustain only a month of imports.

General Munir's Beijing visit holds significance given that Pakistan is still short of the $3 billion that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has sought in guarantees from the nation's allies to disburse $1.1 billion in fresh funds under a $7 billion bailout package.

While the UAE and Saudi Arabia have already assured the global lender of providing $3 billion to Islamabad, the IMF would only release the amount when it would get assurance from another Pakistan ally for the remaining $3 billion.
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