Pak urges friendly nations to release funds to fight terrorism

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Islamabad, July 31 (ANI): Pakistan has urged the US, the UK, Japan and other friendly nations, which are part of a group called the Friends of Democratic Pakistan (FoDP), that prolonged financial crunch could impact Islamabad's fight against terrorism.

The FoDP was launched in New York on September 26, 2008 on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session. The initial meeting was co-chaired by the United States, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan.

"Pakistan has sent a team of financial experts and foreign policy managers to London to take up the issue of FoDP failure to rescue Pakistan in the face of grave economic crises," The Nation quoted an official, as saying on Thursday.

"In addition to the ongoing visit of this team to the UK, Pakistani authorities have also raised this issue with the US and other friendly states in the FoDP group," he added.

The FoDP will hold its ministerial meeting in Istanbul in late August to ponder over Pakistan's request for extending assistance worth two billion dollars during 2009-10.

Pakistan's budget 2009-10 is dependant heavily on the pledges made by the FoDP during the Tokyo conference held in 2008 in which those countries promised to provide 5.28 billion dollars to Islamabad over two years period.

Pakistan wants its friendly states to extend 3.5 billion dollars for poverty alleviation, 1.2 billion dollars for education and health and 1.7 billion dollars for security related issues including fight against militancy.

"The response of friendly nations is poor, so far, barring few countries like the United States and we want them to realize how difficult it is for Pakistan to fight the menace of terror when it is confronting the unprecedented economic crisis," the official said.

He said, "If they failed to meet our expectations in Istanbul meeting as well as other interactions in the coming months, it definitely would impact the efforts of Pakistan against terrorism."

The founding members states of the FoDP included Britain, France, Germany, the United States, China, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Turkey, Australia and Italy plus the United Nations and the European Union. (ANI)

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