Japan, Saudi Arabia come to Pakistan’s rescue

Published: November 16, 2010

US special envoy to Pakistan Richard Holbrooke. photo: file

ISLAMABAD: 

Japan and Saudi Arabia came to Pakistan’s rescue and pledged $900 million for flood rehabilitation after Western allies gave it the cold shoulder at the Pakistan Development Forum’s (PDF) meeting on Monday.

At the concluding day of forum organised to mobilise more international support for Pakistan’s flood-hit areas, the message from European countries and the US seemed to be “improve governance, introduce power and tax sector reforms and ensure transparency” before seeking new loans for reconstruction.

“Japan will provide an additional 500-million-dollar loan for rehabilitation of damaged roads in Khyber-Pakthunkhwa,” said Makido Kikuta, parliamentary vice minister of Japan. She said that $273 million would be provided as a soft loan and the remaining amount will be given through international development partners.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia  announced $400 million for reconstruction of flood-affected areas. However, details are yet to be sorted out by both countries. According to the Damage and Needs Assessment report, the floods caused losses worth $10.05 billion and up to $8.9 billion were required to build back smarter.

US special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke announced that the US will reallocate assistance funds to Pakistan to target recovery and reconstruction.

“As a demonstration of our sustained commitment to expanding our partnership with Pakistan, and in close consultation with our Congress, the US will commit up to $500 million of the first year of Kerry-Lugar-Berman funds – one third of the civilian assistance budget for the year,” he said. Holbrooke promised to ensure fast-track disbursement of this money, which is not a new commitment.

However, he made sure to mention that Pakistan needed to move away from the donor cycle and implement plans rapidly.

Andrew Mitchell, the British minister for international development, said that the immediate concerns were security and corruption. Andrew urged Pakistan to take the difficult path of reforms instead of looking towards “British taxpayers” to meet its needs.

“The Reformed General Sales Tax (RGST) implementation is a must. The government will have to tackle corruption and reform the energy sector,” he said. He also hinted at providing support for the Citizen Compensation Programme and in the education sector Punjab and Khyber-Pakthunkhwa, but he did not announce any assistance.

Representative of the International Monetary Fund Adnan Mazarei said that due to floods, Pakistan’s economic growth will remain around 2.7 per cent and inflation could be expected to go up to 15 per cent, 4 per cent more than the pre-floods scenario.

“We welcome the submission of the RGST bill in parliament and we think that this should be complemented with respective provincial bills,” he said. He said that due to food and construction related imports, the gap between Pakistan’s external payments and receipts would widen to 2.8 per cent of the total size of the economy. He said that additional external financing on concessions will reduce the debt sustainability risk and improve investors’ confidence.

However, Finance Minister Hafeez Shaikh defended the government. “Despite efforts for self-reliance we have to remain dependent on external assistance for some time,” Shaikh said. He said resource mobilisation, fiscal non-sustainability of public sector enterprises and greater fiscal autonomy to provinces were areas of grave concern.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 16th, 2010.

Reader Comments (40)

  • KM
    Nov 15, 2010 - 5:32PM

    So, what have we sold now?Recommend

  • Haris
    Nov 15, 2010 - 5:33PM

    i hope the aid reaches the right people and not corrupt officialsRecommend

  • Amer
    Nov 15, 2010 - 7:47PM

    YAAAY, let’s open the bottle now! lolRecommend

  • Saleem Jamali
    Nov 15, 2010 - 7:57PM

    Pakistan doesn’t need huge funds. Instead, we need great leaders.Recommend

  • RG
    Nov 15, 2010 - 8:01PM

    this is joke…we need better beggers…they r just not up to it.Recommend

  • Qadir EL Eproos
    Nov 15, 2010 - 8:46PM

    You people from urban middle class have no idea what impact ,Benazir Income Support Program has in the villages of Pakistan,where more than 60% population is residing.You people are likely to have a shock of your life,once the PPP would again emerge as the single largest party in 20013 elections.Recommend

  • Ali Haider
    Nov 15, 2010 - 9:51PM

    More aid. No business deal.Recommend

  • Waqar
    Nov 15, 2010 - 9:51PM

    The second day of the Pakistan Development Forum meeting on Monday saw a total of $1.4billion in pledges from the United States, Japan and Saudi Arabia

    So, we can assume it was a full house at the venue with all smiles. The carrot was eaten with glee.Recommend

  • Anoop
    Nov 15, 2010 - 10:26PM

    Pakistanis must be so proud.Recommend

  • Maulana Halwa
    Nov 15, 2010 - 10:51PM

    Time to Celebrate !!!! Let’s have a Beggar’s Gala NightRecommend

  • QB
    Nov 15, 2010 - 11:06PM

    @Qadi EL Eproos … You forgot to mentioned that those villages have been wiped out by floods and the villagers are on the street … their “watan cards” are not working … they have no money to buy commodities of life like roti, kapra or makaan … and hopefully their love for “dead” bibi has dwindled down … I am quite confident that Benazir income support has not done any thing to address these issues rather it is a short sighted attempt at buying votes … Lastly please don’t say things that PPP would again emerge as the single largest party in 2013 elections … We already have enough problems and “Qaboliat ka koi bhi waqt ho sakta hai” !!!Recommend

  • Humanity
    Nov 16, 2010 - 12:07AM

    Bae-ghairat nation !!Recommend

  • Baseer
    Nov 16, 2010 - 12:20AM

    No more aid…why cant we learn to stand up on our own! we have all the resources in the world, what we dont have are the leaders with a vision for the country. In India, at least the ministers resign when cases of corruption are found and initiated. Recommend

  • Madeeha Ansari
    Nov 16, 2010 - 12:43AM

    Hm. Well, people are still waiting for Zardari to schedule a tour so that they can get their Waseela-e-Haq funds. Like other handouts on a national/international scale, let’s see where these go.Recommend

  • Talha
    Nov 16, 2010 - 1:56AM

    I feel ashamed, what kind of world class beggar are we?Recommend

  • Tilsim
    Nov 16, 2010 - 3:59AM

    PPP should not be blamed. This is part of our long standing State policy regardless of who is in power. Begging is definitely wrong but unless this aid money goes towards generating means of production rather than just spending on survival we will be never out of this vicious cycle. We should be asking for aid money to be spent wisely so that we can climb out of this mess.Recommend

  • Haris Chaudhry
    Nov 16, 2010 - 6:03AM

    And where are those patriotic slogan chanting mob of “Ghairat Brigade” and those that want to denounce the entire west and US and wants us to go alone in our quest for nirvana…

    We, the Pakistani nation is a “beggar”. We are the nation of beggars roaming around the world with begging bowl in hand. Next time anyone of you want to talk about ‘sovereignty’, ‘pride’, ‘atomic-power’, ‘fortress of islam’; do remember that we are nothing but a beggar in the eyes of the world :)

    Get off your high horses and accept the reality. The world sees us for who we are – down trodden, tired, desperate, corrupt and soul less..

    Long live Pakistan…!!!

    HarisRecommend

  • Maulana Halwa
    Nov 16, 2010 - 6:27AM

    Qadir, You may be right but we won’t be alive to see their victory in year 20013Recommend

  • Nov 16, 2010 - 7:08AM

    Honour is depleting daily and people are suffering under corruption, mullahs and assorted 2-bit politicians… when do we raise our standards to meet the world or do we continue to cower and act as paupers doing dua and stealing away our livessRecommend

  • Hafiz shah Ali
    Nov 16, 2010 - 7:33AM

    “I am pleased the United States will commit $500 million of the first year of Kerry-Lugar-Berman funds – one third of our civilian assistance budget for Pakistan – to benefit flood victims during the critical recovery and reconstruction process.” Senator Kerry.

    This is part of the Press Release.

    So what the USA has done is re-allocate part of the allocation of Kerry -Lugar-Berman funds to flood relief. This is perfectly fine and very generous of US Government. But all we request is that the funds be used properly and 90% plus funds should reach down to the people in the villages. Please do not use US contractors as more than 30-50% funds go in administration cost. Please use local NGOs with credibility for programme implementation.
    Pls do not give funds to the Government as majority of funds will disappear in corrupt practices and in-efficiency. Recommend

  • Someone
    Nov 16, 2010 - 8:31AM

    Haha what a nation of beggars we are…hats off Recommend

  • Faisal W
    Nov 16, 2010 - 8:57AM

    i think its time we faced up to the fact that the victims of the flood won’t see any money regardless of whether we get US$1 or US$ 100 Bln. These people constructed their life with their own bare hands over a number of years with out government support, and they can expect to do the same.

    Unfortunately these floods have come at an opportune time for our leaders, who may or may not be corrupt, and for our whole government, which now in involved in organised corruption, as a means ti pump in some mroe foriegn aid into the system. We are high on aid much like a drug addict looking for any means for his next heroin injection.

    What is sad that everyone knows what the future holds for us… things will get worse before they can get better. Recommend

  • Nov 16, 2010 - 10:09AM

    The amount we have received so far since Independence could have made possible rivers of honey and milk but had we had leaders like Quaid Azam alive !!!Recommend

  • Ahmer Ali
    Nov 16, 2010 - 11:22AM

    Assalam-o-Allaikum Warahmatullah.Now Allah Almighty’s decision has clearly opened that only muslims are the friends of muslims and non-muslims are the friends of non-muslims and now real Islamic brother Saudi Arabia is in the ground for help and advanced Western nations have shown cold shoulders for rehabilitation work in flood-effected areas.If now our present corrupt leaders couldn’t understand the Western nations’ prejudicial attitude then it shall be too late and the most importantly above all Pakistan needs honest and sincere leadership to distribute money for the real welfare and betterment of the nation which Pakistan got never especially during and after 1971 when the partition of East Pakistan (Bangladesh) the whole world and the Pakistani nation saw.Recommend

  • Anonymous
    Nov 16, 2010 - 2:10PM

    @Ahmer Ali
    Does your comment imply that part of $500million aid (given by Japan) will go to non- muslims of Pakistan? Also substantial amounts are pledged by US with KL conditonalities, else the Generals will waste them on weapons) Are these too for non muslims? Don’t bring in the religious angle everywhere.Recommend

  • srinivasan
    Nov 16, 2010 - 2:48PM

    Ahmer Ali
    What rubbish is this. The US is the country which donated most to Pakistan for floods so far. And so have european countries and so on. What a cruelty to mix religion into natural disasters
    and the handouts. Think of all the contributions by your co muslim country S Arabia to bring up jihadis and think of their contribution to you to eliminate them. U will understand who is helping u the most. And by the way when did Japan become a muslim country to get bracketed with S Arabia in you opinionRecommend

  • Tony Singh
    Nov 16, 2010 - 6:25PM

    What is harm in asking for aid? That is one thing I do not understand. Personally when we are in trouble, we ask help from our well wishers. The same logic goes for nations. The only point is as we do not go on spending spree and get the best car available with the dealer, so also the Pakistan’s govt. should use this aid judiciously. No self respect is lost that way.Recommend

  • Rahim Johar
    Nov 16, 2010 - 6:44PM

    Ahmer Ali

    You should at least appreciate the help of Western counties and Charities, they have always been prompt in helping Pakistan. How can you just disregard their generosity.

    My concern is the poor people of Pakistan, the nation who don’t have a place to live, money to feed their kids, but why would bother this our Government and politicians, they have Palaces to live, fleet of luxury cars to drive and uncountable numbers of servants. Shame on them, being a 3rd worlds country where a poor family is struggling to survive they are stealing the charitable money, I don’t know how these people sleep at night. Recommend

  • Baseer
    Nov 16, 2010 - 6:47PM

    @ Tony Singh
    I agree with you to some extent but if we keep asking our help all the time, they no longer remain our well wishers and a time will come when they stop helping you. There is a limit to asking help, it is time Pakistan govt and ppl use their internal resources to stand up to this crisis. We can do it INSHAALLAH!!!Recommend

  • Bean
    Nov 16, 2010 - 10:45PM

    What is the use of the money when it does not reach the needy? Most of it you will end spending it on weapons and the rest of it will go to politicians and army officers pockets..Recommend

  • Humanity
    Nov 16, 2010 - 11:51PM

    @Afzal Rahim “The amount we have received so far since Independence could have made possible rivers of honey and milk but had we had leaders like Quaid Azam alive !!!”

    Rivers of milk and honey are NOT made with hand-outs and charity. They are made with one’s own blood and sweat.

    Had Jinnah lived longer to complete the foundation, this country would have been on the course of a progressive, moderate civilized state where humans would live with dignity.

    Quaid was a man of unquestionable integrity and self respect. He would not have taken a single penny from any one in the form of aid or charity. There is a difference between honorable men like the Quaid and dishonorable superior Muslims who demand charity from the infidels whom they declare their enemies! The country was hijacked by the disingenuous mullah-poli-tics alliance. The only outcome to be expected from such travesty is the bae-ghairut nation. The track record and proof is open and clear for every one to see!Recommend

  • ZK
    Nov 16, 2010 - 11:58PM

    In school, many of us learned the poem Invictus that concludes, “I’m the master of my fate, I’m the captain of my soul.” With $ 53.01 billion external debt that 170 million Pakistanis owe, I wonder where is our soul and what’s our fate?Recommend

  • Aamir Ali
    Nov 17, 2010 - 1:54AM

    Pakistan remains a beggar state. it is a joke that Pakistanis get so emotional over “sovereighnity”. Pakistanis should pay their own bills and control their territory before screaming about “savarainity”.Recommend

  • Cautious
    Nov 17, 2010 - 3:28AM

    Nonsense article – the USA and Europe have provided the vast majority of the aid to Pakistan and yet the article seems to snub them and praise Japan and Saudi Arabia. Further – it has become apparent that the money given by the USA and Europe is being squandered/stolen by Pakistan’s corrupt govt so withholding more money until that gets fixed is very reasonable.

    Lastly – I can’t recall the last time I saw any Pakistani post a simple “thank you” for the hard earned taxpayer money that those “infidels” continue to provide – must be too busy cashing the checks.Recommend

  • Nov 17, 2010 - 4:48PM

    @Ahmer Ali

    Walaikum-Assalam- Warahmatullah.

    Now Allah Almighty’s decision has clearly opened that only muslims are the friends of muslims and non-muslims are the friends of non-muslims

    Looks like your grip on maths is quite tenuous. The report says that 500 million US Dollars were pledged by Japan, and 400 million by KSA. So the contribution by the non-muslim was greater than the contribution of the muslim country, unless of course Japan has convered lock stock and barrel overnight.Interstingly, ‘higher than mountains and deeper than oceans friend’ ,a.k.a China, is nowhere on the scene.

    Another noticeable ommission in the entire debate is, that no one seems to be interested in thanking the donors.Allow me to thank the Almighty on this day for all his ‘rahmat’. And allow me to thank all his nations for coming to the aid of the needy.

    Eid-ul-Azha Mubarik.Recommend

  • Mawali
    Nov 17, 2010 - 6:21PM

    So it has now finally come to this. The donor fatigue has set in and Pakistan now finds itself sinking deeper in the quagmire of corruption and mismanagement.

    Those that had their hopes pinned on more aid to pay for the real estate losses in Dubai must be in agony.

    Then aid from the evil Kingdom always has proviso’s and caveats that will lead Pakistan further into the reality of Wahabistan.

    In totality though the Western nations are really doing Pakistan a huge favor. Perhaps, after getting a swift kick in the tukhas they just might begin to get their act togather?Recommend

  • Raqib Ali
    Nov 19, 2010 - 2:53AM

    There is nothing wrong in receiving aid for those who are suffering.

    Don’t call the flood victims beggars. I have strong feeling that there is one or two dodgy guys putting all the ‘beggar’ comments to make the poor civilian victims bad. Recommend

  • Raqib Ali
    Nov 19, 2010 - 2:55AM

    Most of this aid will be given to the victims via international agenices. I don’t see need for cruel comments by fake cowards!Recommend

  • Ahmer Ali
    Nov 20, 2010 - 11:01AM

    Assalam-o-Allaikum Warahmatullah.@Anonymous,srinivasan and vikas ranjan.
    Your feedback on my comment is always most welcome and appreciated but keep it in your mind that against this huge amount of aid’s money from USA and other European countries the European countries and US government coerce and compel Pakistani leaders to kill innocent muslims on the name of terrorism and extremism through military’s,FC’s and Security Forces operations and especially US officials force Pakistani leaders to get permission to kill innocent muslims by Drone attacks and all the muslim states never demand the innocent killings in Pakistan in other words against the aid given by Western countries and USA our Pakistani leaders kill the innocent people and yes this is true that there are handful terrorists in Pakistan whose are destroying the peace and security within Pakistan and the most importantly above all foreign aid making Pakistani leaders highly world class beggars and our leaders are loosing self-reliance,self-respect,honor and dignity of the whole nation and foreign aid’s money creating more and more corruption in Pakistani leaders and they are now much more depending on foreign aid and debts and for this purpose they have sold all the nation’s grace,honor,dignity and self-respect and they have been used to foreign aid and they are selling all the Pakistan’s precious natural and mineral resources.This is why I wrote all this.Recommend

  • sohaib
    Nov 22, 2010 - 10:06PM

    Pakistan is crying out for a leader!!! We dont need loans, please. Stop this begging habit but we cant expect this to happen any time soon as this NRO coterie runs the show. Recommend

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