Pakistan to seek $4 bn aid at Tokyo meet

Islamabad, April 16 (Inditop) Pakistan will seek $4 billion in aid at a donor conference to be held in Tokyo Friday.

Shaukat Tarin, finance adviser to Pakistan’s prime minister, has said that the $4 billion assistance will be spent on health, education and poverty alleviation programmes over a period of two years.

The US Agency for International Development, Britain’s Department for International Development, Canadian International Development Agency, Asian Development Bank and the World Bank will attend the donors’ conference, IRNA reported Thursday.

“We are still making efforts, we think this is possible,” Isabel Guerrero, World Bank’s vice president for South Asia, said referring to Pakistan’s $4 billion request.

A ministerial meeting of the Friends of Democratic Pakistan (FoDP) group will also be held on the sidelines of the donor conference.

The meeting comes after the US President Barack Obama unveiled a new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan for tackling militancy.

Motohide Yoshikawa, Japan’s Special Representative for Assistance to Afghanistan and Pakistan, has said his country will offer �the most generous pledge’ to Pakistan at the donors’ meet.

Tarin said health and education have been neglected mainly because Pakistan had to divert $35 billion to its security needs over the past seven to eight years. The war on terror has badly affected the country’s economy, he added.

He said majority of the Pakistanis believe the war on terror has been an American war in which the Pakistani government went beyond the limits of subservience to the US.

The prevailing economic situation in Pakistan is not very positive, as tax collection has fallen, imports are high and the expenses of the government ministries increased. Analysts believe Pakistan had to pursue active monetary and fiscal policies to deal with the global financial crisis.