Pakistan's new leaders are scrambling for foreign cash to ward off a possible economic meltdown at a time when they are trying to contain soaring violence by Islamic fundamentalists, the AP reports. Battered by high inflation and a plunging currency, the nuclear-armed country hopes global powers and financial institutions will not want to see it further destabilized and hand over the dollars it needs.
Pakistan requires an immediate commitment of at least $2 billion to restore confidence in the country after an alarming slump in its foreign reserves, economists say. President Asif Ali Zardari returned today from neighboring China with a promise of assistance from an "all-weather friend," but no specific public commitment. Pakistani finance officials have also visited Washington and Middle Eastern capitals in search of funds.