Pakistan seeks support from donors to restore security

April 15th, 2009 - 5:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Tokyo, April 15 (DPA) Pakistan Wednesday urged international donor countries to provide support as it tries to restore confidence in the nation’s economy and security.
“We are here to ask political and economic support to restore confidence,” Foreign Affairs Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told a press conference in Tokyo.

The minister arrived in Japan Wednesday ahead of a one-day donor conference scheduled for Friday, where 30 countries and international groups were expected to agree to provide $4 billion over the next two years.

With the World Bank and Japan as co-chairs, the conference is aimed at bringing peace and stability to Pakistan and helping it overcome severe economic challenges.

“We inherited an economic crisis,” the minister said, explaining that Pakistan suffers from increasing poverty, high unemployment and crippling inflation.

The fight against Islamic extremists has also cost the government $34.5 billion, he said.

Japan was expected to commit to a significant share of the donations to help stabilise the economy and quell the violence, especially in its tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.

“It is Pakistan’s self-interest to defeat and contain extremism and terrorism,” Qureshi said. If objectives were fulfilled, “Pakistan can be a role model for the Muslim world”.

With the monetary assistance from the international members, Qureshi said Pakistan hopes to achieve economic growth of 6 to 7 percent.

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