Holbrooke arrives in Karachi,to hold talks on economic issues

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Karachi, Aug.19 (ANI): US Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke arrived here on Wednesday and will hold talks on economic assistance being offered by Washington to help Pakistan pull itself out of an impending economic crisis.

Holbrooke, who is on a five day visit to Pakistan, would discuss economic issues with top officials during his visit to the country's financial hub, which has been hit hard due to the global slowdown.

Interacting with media persons just after arriving in Islamabad on Sunday, Holbrooke had said that the focus of his visit would be economic and energy security and not the anti-Taliban efforts.

Earlier, during his meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari, Holbrooke rejected reports about the stationing of US Marines in Islamabad.

Sources said during his meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari, Holbrooke clarified that the massive expansion of the US embassy in Islamabad was primarily to accommodate all US staff.

It may be noted that media reports, based on a US State Department document, claimed that the Obama government was constructing a Marine House in Islamabad to accommodate at least 1000 marines at a cost of 112.5 million dollars.

Holbrooke said the prime motive of his visit was to refocus US policy on the region and to support Pakistan.

"President Obama's decision to preside over along with President Zardari the forthcoming meeting of the Friends of Democratic Pakistan reflected the US government's desire to support any initiative aimed at lending critical strategic and economic support to Pakistan," the Dawn quoted Holbrooke, as saying. (ANI)

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