Pakistan’s Khan Rejects PM Invite for Talks Amid IMF Negotiation

(Bloomberg) -- Pakistan’s opposition leader Imran Khan has rejected an offer from Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to attend a conference to discuss key national issues amid negotiations with the International Monetary Fund to avoid bankruptcy.

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Sharif has called an all-party conference on Feb. 7 to discuss economic and terrorism-related challenges, state-run Pakistan Television reported. Former Prime Minister Khan will not attend the conference, said his senior political party leader Asad Umar in Lahore.

The South Asian nation is facing its worst economic crisis in decades with dollar reserves falling to $3.1 billion, enough for just a few weeks of imports. Sharif called the IMF’s conditions for unlocking more funds tough and “beyond imagination.” A team from the lender is visiting Pakistan until Feb. 9 to discuss the stalled loan program.

Sharif’s coalition toppled Khan as prime minister in a confidence vote last year. Khan has been protesting for early elections that are scheduled for sometime after August.

(Updates with Khan’s rejection in first paragraph.)

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