Friends of Pakistan
Daily Times, September 28, 2008
A permanent forum known as Friends of Pakistan was launched in New York on Friday with the mission to help Pakistan out of its economic crisis. It has been estimated that Pakistan would need around $15 billion to prevent its economy from collapsing. The Forum’s first substantive session, hopefully meaning actual execution of commitments, will be held in Abu Dhabi early October. The future host of the forum, UAE’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, said in New York that his country fully backed the initiative to “show our commitment to Pakistan”.
Others too have shown commitment: the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said, “We are engaged with Pakistan through international financial institutions. We will support the steps Pakistan must take for its economy”. British Foreign Secretary David Miliband saw “a very strong signal of political and economic support to the democratically elected government in Pakistan”. Those who attended the Friends of Pakistan forum meeting were: The United States, Britain, Italy, Germany, France, Japan, China, Australia, Turkey, Canada, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
President Asif Ali Zardari, whose presence at the UN helped the campaign for Pakistan’s economic survival, appropriately remarked: “I don’t want them to give us the fish. I want to learn how to fish and do it myself”. Needless to say, the forum couldn’t have been launched without the help of the United States and the commitment shown by the PPP leadership in Pakistan to fighting Pakistan’s war against terrorists and extremists which cannot be sustained without a dramatic economic revival. And that is exactly why the international community is ready to offer financial help.
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Friends of Pakistan group pledges aid for stabilization - AFP
‘Friends’ unveil initiative to avert collapse: Over $15bn needed: media - Dawn
Zardari Wins Support of Global Coalition on Terrorism, Economy - Bloomberg