all pakistani economic discussion here please.
discussions to be supported by relevant links please.
all pakistani economic discussion here please.
discussions to be supported by relevant links please.
West urged to give Pakistan $5bn
The US and Europe must give Pakistan up to $5bn in urgent aid or risk seeing the country descend into chaos, a US report is set to warn.
The Atlantic Council foreign policy group report, which carries an appeal for international aid to stabilise Pakistan amid a global economic crisis, is set for formal release on Wednesday.
"If we fail, we face a truly frightening prospect: terrorist sanctuary, economic meltdown, and spiralling radicalism, all in a nation with 170 million inhabitants and a full arsenal of nuclear weapons," said John Kerry, the Democratic senator and co-chair of the report, in a statement released by the council.
Kerry, who also chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, added that he and Richard Lugar, a Republican senator, would soon introduce legislation aiming to provide Pakistan with $7.5bn in non-military aid over five years.
The report "calls for an additional $4bn-$5bn of immediate financial aid for Pakistan to avert an economic meltdown", a statement by the council said.
"Given the tools and the financing, Pakistan can turn back from the brink. But for that to happen, it needs help now."
However, some US politicians have already questioned the amount of aid given to Pakistan, and concerns have been raised over Islamabad's strategy for dealing with Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters after it reached a deal with religious leaders in the Swat valley area to introduce sharia, or Islamic law, as part of a truce.
Qureshi denied the Swat policy was "appeasement toward militants" [EPA]
Critics in the US, Europe, Afghanistan and India, have said the Swat move could embolden al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters in North West Frontier Province, which borders Afghanistan.
On Tuesday, Taliban fighters in Pakistan declared an indefinite ceasefire in the Swat valley, the group's spokesman said.
The Taliban imposed a strict version of sharia during its 1996-2001 rule in Afghanistan.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Pakistan's foreign minister, said the Swat policy represented a "local solution to a local problem" and was "not any appeasement toward militants".
And he received support from his Afghan counterpart Rangeen Dadfar Spanta, who said after talks with Qureshi that "the Afghanistan government has confidence in the leadership in Pakistan".
The Afghan and Pakistani foreign ministers were holding talks in Washington ahead of meetings with Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state.
Qureshi and Spanta hailed improving relations between the neighbours, which in the past had deteriorated over border attacks by fighters.
"There is a new environment between Afghanistan and Pakistan," Qureshi said on Tuesday.
"The trust level, the confidence between the two countries, has increased manifold."
I knew the surrender to the taliban and closing supply route was because of the above.
Pakistan president seeks China's economic support
SHANGHAI (AP) — Pakistan's president sought China's economic help during a visit to the country's financial capital Monday, but there was no sign of fresh Chinese commitment for aid in its neighbor's financial crisis.
On his second visit to China in just a few months after taking office, Asif Ali Zardari was hoping to build on Islamabad and Beijing's strong relations. He promised help in securing supply routes for Middle Eastern oil to China.
Massive government overspending and trade imbalances threaten to undermine Pakistan as authorities struggle to turn back a wave of Islamic militancy. The country took a US$7.6 billion IMF bailout last year to ward off collapse, but says it needs billions more.
There has been no sign from Beijing that it might forgive some of Pakistan's debt or extend additional aid.
"China has been providing help, within its own capability, to Pakistan's economic and social development," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters during a regular news briefing last week.
"We hope that Pakistan maintains stability, and achieves economic development and social harmony," she said.
In a commentary published Monday in the state-run China Daily newspaper, Zardari acknowledged China's assistance in building up his country's military, nuclear power plants and ports, and he promised Pakistan's help in securing supply routes for Middle Eastern oil to China.
"Pakistan is also a sizable country in its own right. Once we get our economic fundamentals right we can be a useful economic partner, a significant market and a profitable destination for investment," he wrote.
Zardari took office in September after his party won elections last year. He has led the party since his late wife, the moderate U.S. ally Benazir Bhutto, was assassinated by suspected al-Qaida militants in late 2007.
In China, Zardari also toured the huge Three Gorges hydroelectric project to "see some of the engines that lie behind China's economic growth," his commentary said.
China's highest-ranking legislator, Dai Bingguo, reassured Zardari that Beijing would do all it can to strengthen bilateral ties.
Cooperation agreements were signed over the weekend on farm technology, port engineering and hydroelectric power development, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
US senators urge rethink on Pakistan aid
WASHINGTON (AFP) – US senators on Monday urged a rethink on aid to Pakistan after a watchdog said more than 12 billion dollars in US spending had failed to eliminate the country's militant haven.
The call came as the foreign ministers of Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan start a week of talks in Washington with President Barack Obama's administration on how to combat extremism.
The Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, found the United States has spent 12.3 billion dollars since 2002 aiming to end the "terrorist threat" on Pakistan's border with Afghanistan.
"Despite six years of US and Pakistani government efforts, Al-Qaeda has regenerated its ability to attack the United States and continues to maintain a safe haven in Pakistan?s FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas)," it said.
The tribal areas, which border Afghanistan, have never been fully under Pakistani control and are believed to be the hideout for Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants forced out of Afghanistan following the 2001 US military offensive.
Senator Robert Menendez, who heads the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on international assistance, said the report showed US aid to Pakistan was not working.
"It's clear that the strategy in place over the past seven years must be rethought if we are to improve our security," said Menendez, a member of Obama's Democratic Party.
"I look forward to working on a policy that focuses assistance on institutions that help ensure long-term stability and minimize the threat in Pakistan," he said in a statement.
Senator Tom Harkin said the previous administration of George W. Bush had "thrown billions of taxpayer dollars down a rabbit hole.
"This colossal foreign policy and national security failure is yet another legacy item of the Bush administration -- one that we will work to turn around with President Obama and the new Congress," he said.
A deputy to Pakistan's top Taliban commander on Monday declared a unilateral ceasefire in Bajaur, one of the seven federally administered tribal areas, after a months-long operation by Pakistani forces.
Islamabad says the offensive proves its commitment to crush the insurgents, despite heavy criticism from US and Afghan officials who say Pakistan is not doing enough to stop militants crossing into Afghanistan.
Zardari draws a blank from China visit
By Syed Fazl-e-Haider
QUETTA, Pakistan - Asif Ali Zardari, president of cash-strapped Pakistan, has returned home from Beijing for the second time in a few months virtually empty-handed, without any commitment from China for aid.
During his first visit as president last October, Zardari failed to secure financial support from Beijing to stave off a balance of payments crisis, with the Chinese government rebuffing a request for concessional loans.
This time, the two countries signed cooperation agreements for hydropower generation and agriculture development, but there was no firm commitment from Beijing about writing off some of
Islamabad's debt or extending additional aid.
Zardari's four-day visit, which included trips to Hubei province and Shanghai, overlapped with and was overshadowed by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to the Chinese capital.
After China's rebuff in October, Pakistan reluctantly reached agreement with the International Monetary Fund on a US$7.6 billion loan facility, which in turn paved the way for Beijing to grant $500 million in loans. That compares with the estimated $14 billion some economists say is needed to get Pakistan back on its feet.
"China has been providing help, within its own capability, to Pakistan's economic and social development," AP quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu as saying last week.
Even so, Pakistan's financial distress and worsening internal security may be cooling China's perception of its neighbor.
"Instead of increasing assistance to its old ally, Beijing has apparently been keeping a distance from Islamabad," Time magazine reported last week.
"Pakistan today needs China more than China needs Pakistan - that is why there is more enthusiasm in Pakistan about its relations with China than vice-versa," the magazine quoted Shabbir Cheema, director of the Asia-Pacific Governance and Democracy Initiative, as saying.
While economic issues were at the heart of Zardari's visit, it took place in the shadow of the intensifying US "war on terror" in Afghanistan, also involving Pakistan's western border areas, and amid continuing questions on Pakistan's involvement in terrorist attacks in India's financial center, Mumbai, last November.
In a telephone conversation with President Hu Jintao on Tuesday, Zardari thanked him for China's support to Pakistan's stance on the Mumbai incident, over which Islamabad has had to fend of Indian charges of complicity. The two leaders agreed to work together to build a strong economic and political partnership.
"The visit assumes significance as Islamabad had given a blank check to China to intercede on its behalf with India on the Mumbai terror attacks," Press Trust of India reported.
Zardari sought during his latest visit to highlight the benefits his country offered China. In an interview with Chinese media, he said companies based in central China would gain from trading through Pakistani ports, which are nearer to the sea than their own country's ports such as Shanghai and Hong Kong.
"We will encourage Chinese companies to come to Pakistan as Pakistan is geo-strategically located and provides them access to the rest of the world through our warm waters," Associated Press of Pakistan quoted Zardari as saying.
The two sides agreed that establishing trans-border economic zones and a Pakistan-China rail link would go a long way in strengthening the relationship between the two countries.
Pakistan wants "to initiate rail links as well in addition to existing road and sea links". Pakistan Press International quoted Zardari as saying. Addressing Chinese heads of major financial institutions and banks, he said the government would also provide maximum support to Chinese investors to enhance links between the two countries. The opening of branches by Chinese banks in Pakistan, would further expand financial interaction.
"We also have a free-trade agreement with China and hope to finalize a trade agreement in services shortly", China Daily reported Zardari as saying. "Once we get our economic fundamentals right we can be a useful economic partner, a significant market and a profitable destination for investment." Pakistan is the first country with which China has signed a free trade agreement (FTA). The first phase of an FTA in goods and investment was completed last July.
Investment by China and provision of easier access for Pakistani goods into the Chinese market could help boost trade between the two countries. Last year, bilateral trade volume rose a mere 1.3% to $6.9 billion.
Zardari acknowledged the assistance China has already given to his country.
"China has helped Pakistan’s economic development. Chinese assistance and enterprise has been invaluable in areas as diverse as construction of nuclear power plants to dams, roads and industrial estates. The port of Gwadar on Pakistan's Arabian Sea coast is a testament to China’s friendship with Pakistan," he said.
At the mouth of the Persian Gulf and opposite the Strait of Hormuz, Gwadar port is being funded and built by China and is intended to serve as a corridor for energy, cargo and services between Central Asia, the Gulf and other surrounding regions. Islamabad has awarded the US$70 million construction contract for an international airport at Gwadar to China Harbour Engineering Company. Under a memorandum of understanding signed during Zardari's latest visit, the Chinese company is to support the National Dredging Corporation of Pakistan in its dredging work - silting is a considerable problem at, for example, Gwadar.
Over 3,000 Chinese nationals have their presence in Pakistan, and concern is rising over their safety given the increased numbers of terrorist incidents in the country, which has included the deaths of Chinese engineers involved in the Gwadar port project.
"Terrorists have specifically targeted some of our Chinese friends who were working in Pakistan to drive a wedge between the two countries and peoples," China Daily quoted Zardari as saying. "The sacrifice of these Chinese citizens for Pakistan’s cause is an abiding reminder to us Pakistanis of China's friendship with our country."
Zardari identified possible areas of co-operation between Pakistan and China in hybrid seed development and other agriculture technology such as water management and use of solar technology, Business Recorder reported, citing a statement by the Pakistan Embassy in China.
Under a joint breeding programme, China’s Hubei Seed Group will transfer germplasm technology to boost productivity of hybrid rice. Pakistani scientists will also be trained in agronomy and oilseed production.
The two sides also signed an agreement under which China will provide technical assistance to Pakistan in hydro-power generation. Zardari visited the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest dam.
"Pakistan has not benefited to the extent that it should from its relations with China. We would like China to help us in the construction of a dam similar to this one," Associated Press of Pakistan quoted the Pakistani president as saying.
NEW DELHI: India’s efforts to prevent fresh US military aid going to the Pakistani Army has failed with US President Barack Obama proposing to
massively increase non-military and military aid to Pakistan in his maiden budget.
Though the exact amount of military aid has not been specified. Mr Obama’s maiden budget proposes spending of $130 billion for 2010 and $75.5 billion for 2009. There is a further request for $205.5 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan between now and 2010. The $130-billion request for the war also includes military aid to Pakistan to fight the Al Qaeda and the Taliban.
The budget comes at a time when the Obama administration has just concluded trilateral talks with Afghanistan and Pakistan on the situation in the region with Pakistan seeking both military and non military aid. The development is worrying for India as past anti-terror funds supplied by the US have been diverted by the Pakistani military to prepare a war against India and to strike deals with the Taliban.
US government reports have also detailed the misuse of military funds by Pakistan and Mr Obama himself has earlier pointed out that $10 billion of US funds being wasted during the Musharraf regime.
Since Pakistani links were uncovered in the Mumbai terror attacks, India has been asking the US and other countries to stop military aid to Pakistan. The matter was taken up by the Indian side during special envoy Richard Holbrooke’s visit to India.
But the Obama administration, which initially did a lot of tough talking on the issue, needs the Pakistani military, which is now asking for drones to take action against militant hideouts, to take action against the Al Qaeda and Taliban. Though India has been talking about a congruence of interests in the region with the US, the issue of military aid for Pakistan remains a point of disagreement between India and the US.
On the budget expenditure US policy towards Pakistan, joint chief of staff Admiral Mike Mullen was quoted as saying: "I think it's very important that we help resource them and develop this comprehensive strategy with Pakistan over a number of years. I'm delighted to see that kind of support in the 2010 budget. “ The budget also proposes increasing non-military aid to Afghanistan and also Pakistan.
“External challenges include undertaking a responsible drawdown of troops from Iraq and focusing the appropriate resources on achieving US objectives in Afghanistan,” said the budget in the areas related to the defence department. There has been a lot of talk in the US polity of increasing non-military aid to Pakistan conditional to effective counter terrorism measures.
There are reports that the US might be looking at $5-billion aid to Pakistan apart from the $1.5-billion package which is in the US Congress.
Mr Obama in his budget has also proposed to increasing non- military aid to Afghanistan and Pakistan to fight the resurgence of the Taliban through developmental activities. The proposal is for 10.5 billion in supplemental non-military funding for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
According to the budget, the proposal looks at doubling foreign aid and includes increasing the number of civilian personnel in Afghanistan and Pakistan to do development and reconstruction work to counter the Taliban. “In addition, we must leverage allied support to help struggling states such as Pakistan, which are the keystone for regional stability,” said the budget.
The defence spending for this year, according to the budget, $533.7 billion, which is a four per cent increase from last year. Incidentally, the move to double aid to Pakistan comes at a time when the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) stated that Pakistan has been fudging statements to the US for certain transport facilities it provided in counter terror effort. The fraud was revealed during an audit carried out by the US authorities.
one up on Bush.....
obama turning out to be a bigger hypocrite than bush, glad i didn't vote for him.
So, I guess Pakistan might finally be able to afford those Submarines and rebuilding their fleet...because you know the Taliban has an umm..strong naval presence somewhere in the Indian ocean.
i wonder what demands usa has planned for pakistan? either way let USA fight China themselves no need for us to be part of a temporary alliance. There can only be one number one in history and it's always settled thru war.
Its funny because US has steadily been stepping up the aid and Pakistan has progressively gone down the drain, I mean come on, they gave away all those northern territories to Osama and Co. I do not understand how Obama rationalized this. Any thoughts people?
I think it;s part of a greater plan for pakistan to implode from within but that's just my opinion , this may be a carrot held out for the coming surge.
I don't understand, why will the US want to buildup Pakistan's capabilities?
2 reasons they want to keep pakistan in their defense market fold and the obvious to buildup against India, we are doing the right thing testing the ICBM next year our relations with USA are not going to be as good as they were under Bush, a third reason which may also be possible that many claim they are scaird shitless of pakistan and their islamic bomb which also be very true.
True...Pakistan's bombs falling into Osama's hands is not a good proposition. I still think that Obama has something planned for Pakistan after he pulls the troops out of Iraq and puts them in Afghanistan. I guess time will tell
I guess chances for super hornet are getting slimmer, I think rafele will win the MRCA.
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