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Pakistan Suspends International Payments For Online Games Amid Dollar Crunch

According to a report in the local newspaper Dawn, the country's central bank's forex reserves are close to zero

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Pakistan has halted payments for in-app purchases, including online video games purchased by local customers using telecommunications companies’ airtime, the latest sign of the country's depleted foreign-exchange reserves.

The State Bank of Pakistan said in a statement that telecom service providers were violating regulations by allowing payments to be made for customers under an agreement with the government that allowed the phone companies to pay for IT-related services for their own use. The transactions have been halted and telecom operators have been asked to resubmit their requests.

In another development, the Pakistan Army finally broke its silence on Sunday, dismissing reports that General Qamar Javed Bajwa's family members and relatives became billionaires during his six-year tenure, calling them “misleading” and based on “blatant lies.”

General Bajwa, 61, is set to retire on 29 November after a three-year extension.

In the midst of this, Pakistani authorities arrested a Senator from Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party on Sunday for allegedly using abusive and threatening language toward senior military officials.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) arrested Azam Swati for the second time in less than two months for tweets critical of army leaders. The FIA had previously arrested him in October.

The country’s economy is under pressure from a variety of factors, including a dollar shortage and a further downgrade to junk status by rating agencies. The country’s foreign reserves cover about one month's worth of imports, which is less than the three-month benchmark.

Pakistan has restricted overseas payments and imports due to its lack of US currency.

According to a report in the local newspaper Dawn, the country's central bank's forex reserves are close to zero. China contributed USD 2.3 billion, Saudi Arabia contributed USD 3 billion and the International Monetary Fund contributed USD 1.2 billion.

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pakistan economy