Pakistan

Expert Voices

Pakistan's new IMF agreement calls for major reforms to avert crisis

Imran Khan speaking at a lectern
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan. Photo: Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images

Pakistan reached a preliminary agreement with the International Monetary Fund for $6 billion in support over 3 years — a much-needed infusion as the country aims to buttress foreign reserves and forestall an economic crisis.

The big picture: For decades, Pakistan's government has prioritized military investments over development, yielding a thriving nuclear weapons and ballistic missile program but declining economic competitiveness. Its performance in this latest IMF program will establish whether Prime Minister Imran Khan renews the country's Faustian bargain or becomes the change agent he has claimed to be.

Pakistani "brides" are allegedly being sold to Chinese husbands

Chinese nationals arrested in Lahore, Pakistan for allegedly selling women into fake marriages and then forcing them into prostitution. Photo: Ali Murtaza/AFP/Getty Images

Pakistani authorities have arrested more than two dozen Chinese nationals involved in allegedly selling Pakistani women into forced marriages in China.

Why it matters: Human rights groups have documented numerous cases of women sold to Chinese men struggling to find wives due in part to the gender imbalance in the country.