ISLAMABAD: An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission and Pakistan have made significant progress towards reaching a staff-level agreement for an extended fund facility, the lender said on Friday.

The IMF has opened discussions with Pakistan on a new loan programme after Islamabad last month completed a short-term $3 billion programme, which helped stave off a sovereign debt default. (Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai, editing by Kim Coghill)