Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said his government would have to agree to IMF bailout conditions that are "beyond imagination" as the country battles a spiralling economic crisis.
"I will not go into the details but will only say that our economic challenge is unimaginable. The conditions we will have to agree to with the IMF are beyond imagination. But we will have to agree with the conditions," Sharif said in televised comments on Friday.
An International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation landed in Pakistan on Tuesday for last-ditch talks to revive vital financial aid that has stalled for months.
The government has held out against tax rises and subsidy slashing demanded by the IMF, fearful of backlash ahead of elections due in October.
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Economy in dire straits
Pakistan's economy is in dire straits, stricken by a balance of payments crisis as it attempts to service high levels of external debt, amid political chaos and deteriorating security.
Foreign exchange reserves dropped again this week to $3.1 billion, which analysts said would be enough to cover less than three weeks of imports, while the rupee is at a record low against the US dollar.
The world's fifth-biggest population is no longer issuing letters of credit, except for essential food and medicines, causing a backlog of thousands of shipping containers at Karachi port stuffed with stock the country can no longer afford.
Data on Wednesday showed year-on-year inflation had risen to a 48-year high, leaving Pakistanis struggling to afford basic food items.
"Poor people will not be able to survive," said Samina Bhatti as she shopped at a market in Islamabad.
"Petrol is so expensive, what will they do, will they start travelling on foot? A daily wage earner can't afford the rent on his home," she said.
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