Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is considering mortgaging Islamabad’s largest park to secure a loan of PKR 500 billion. The F-9 park also known as Fatima Jinnah Park is one of the largest green areas in Pakistan which spans over 750 acres. It is named after Mādar-e Millat Fatima Jinnah, the younger sister of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the first Governor-General of Pakistan.
According to a report by Dawn, the proposal has been included in the agenda of the meeting of the federal cabinet scheduled and will be discussed on Tuesday. The meeting will be held through a video link conference system which has been arranged at the Prime Minister’s House and a committee room of the Cabinet Division. The agenda item no. six, moved by the Finance Division, is “Issuance of Domestic and International Ijara Sukuk Against Unencumbered Land of F-9 Park, Islamabad”. A no-objection certificate has been issued by the Capital Development Authority regarding the proposal.
This move has been proposed as an attempt to bridle Pakistan’s deteriorating economic condition amidst degenerating relations with Pakistan’s biggest sources of international remittance i.e. Saudi Arabia and UAE. Last year, Saudi Arabia had asked Pakistan to repay its loan of $3 billion which it had extended in 2018. As per reports, UAE might also seek repayment of its $3 million loan from Pakistan.
It would not be the first time that Pakistan will be floating sovereign bonds to acquire loans from the international capital market as Pakistan has mortgaged its roads, buildings and institutions in the past. Recently, a Malaysian court had ordered the seizure of a Pakistan International Airlines aircraft due to non-payment of lease. Malaysian authorities captured the aircraft at Kuala Lumpur Airport and reportedly passengers had already boarded the aircraft and had to face a lot of inconvenience.