ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is unhappy with the passivity of western countries, including the United States, to meet its immediate economic and security needs.
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani is reported to have told acting US special representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan Frank Ruggiero that donor countries should do more to help the country.
Gilani also urged the US to speed up the release of funds appropriated under the Kerry-Lugar assistance package for high-visibility projects, particularly in the energy sector.
According to the statement issued after the meeting, the premier said that he regretted that important donor countries have only partially honoured their financial commitments.
“The prime minister underlined that the assistance being offered by Pakistan’s friends and allies as well as by international financial institutions should have taken into account the objective conditions and Pakistan’s sacrifices to ensure that ordinary people do not face further hardships,” the official statement said.
He also asked the US government to accelerate the release of Coalition Support Fund (CSF)payments and work with the new Congress for tabling the Reconstruction Opportunity Zones legislation.
Welcoming the agreements that were signed earlier in the day, the prime minister hoped that they would contribute towards his government’s efforts to redress the hardship of the flood victims.
He also informed the US envoy of his discussion with Afghan leaders during his visit to Kabul last month.
Pakistan supports political dialogue and the reconciliation process in Afghanistan but believed that it should be “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned”, he added.
The US envoy said his country recognised Pakistan’s military and civilian sacrifices in the battle against extremism.
He said the US government would expedite the disbursement of its assistance to Pakistan under the Kerry-Lugar legislation through USAID and payments under the CSF.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 7th, 2011.