Saudi Arabia showing only “muted interest” in helping Pak raise 5 billion dollars in Tokyo conferenc

April 16th, 2009 - 5:16 pm ICT by ANI  

Nawaz Sharif Lahore, Apr.16 (ANI): While the Obama administration is trying hard to raise 5 billion dollars at an international conference in Tokyo to help Pakistan receive financial support to fight against extremism, Saudi Arabia has expressed only ‘muted interest’ in helping out.

A report in the Wall Street Journal stated that Saudi Arabia may back out from offering Pakistan any financial support because it has reservations over the Zardari regime.

It may be noted that last week, Riyadh did participate in a meeting to discuss Pakistan’s financial issues, but refused to make any formal pledge.

According to the report, Saudi Arabia has developed close relations with former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif over the year, who has openly challenged Zardari’s capability to rule the country.

Zardari who leads the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is largely considered a pro-West leader.

In recent times both the US and Saudi Arabia have taken differing stances on the Pakistani leadership.

In 2007, Saudi Arabia struck a deal with the then Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf without taking Washington’s consent, which facilitated Sharif’s return to the country after a long forced exile.

Saudi Arabia is providing Pakistan 80,000 to 100,000 barrels of oil a day currently, which amounts to 5 million dollars in aid.

However, an Arab diplomat said he would be ’surprised’ if Riyadh did not pledge more money to Pakistan in the Tokyo conference. (ANI)

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