Pak more sensitive than Afghanistan

March 24th, 2009 - 1:13 pm ICT by ANI  


Brussels, Mar 24 (ANI): European Union diplomats are deeply concerned about the happenings in Pakistan and consider it more sensitive than Afghanistan.

They put Pakistan at the heart of efforts to beat the Taliban, who are backed by al-Qaeda fighters, drug runners and criminal gangs.

Richard Holbrooke asked the commission to increase its economic aid to Pakistan, an EU diplomat said, after Holbrooke held a series of highly classified discussions with officials, including members of the EUs Executive Commission.

We are all very concerned about what is happening in Pakistan. It is a major security issue for everybody, a problem of political stability. Its a zone thats even more sensitive than Afghanistan, the diplomat added.

Holbrooke urged the EU on Monday to boost aid to Pakistan to help beat the Afghan insurgency, as President Barack Obama seeks a way to end more than seven years of fighting.

Holbrooke was in Brussels to brief NATO and European Union officials on a new US strategy for Afghanistan.

The EU Commission has already made plans to send a team to Afghanistan next month to assess whether security is ripe for an observer mission to monitor potentially pivotal elections in August, The News reported.

The polls are seen as a litmus test of international efforts to stabilise Afghanistan and foster democracy and reconstruction, seven years after the former Taliban regime was ousted by a US-led coalition.

The commission indicated that it was planning to commit 50 to 60 million (euros) for the Afghan elections, the diplomat said.

The EU is already providing Afghanistan with some eight billion euros over the 2001-2010 period. (ANI)

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