Gilani seeks int’l support to stabilize country’s strained economy

LONDON: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Wednesday said Pakistan’s role as a front-line state against terrorism had ‘over-stressed’ its economy and urged the international coalition partners to extend support in this regard.

Talking to Alan Duncan, UK Minister for Department for International Development (DFID), the Prime Minister said the timely assistance would help Pakistan overcome the issues of illiteracy and poverty. The Prime Minister appreciated the UK’s efforts with Friends of Democratic Pakistan (FODP) and expressed confidence that the next meeting of the Forum to be held in Islamabad or London by the year’s end would prove fruitful in fulfilling the commitments made in the Tokyo Conference.

The Prime Minister underlining the importance of social sector development said that illiteracy and poverty were the main causes leading to extremist tendency and needed to be tackled at every cost.
He said education was main element to address the issue of terrorism and the only mean to bring about a positive change in the lives of people.He assured that all the stakeholders including the provincial governments in Pakistan would be able to ensure proper implementation of the education programme for four million children being launched by the United Kingdom.Gilani mentioned that a National Conference would soon be convened to prepare a comprehensive implementation in this regard.
He acknowledged the active engagement of UK Minister for DFID for the development activities in Pakistan and expressed satisfaction over the development assistance.

Gilani lauded the UK’s assistance of pounds 650 million to enrol 4 million Pakistani children to primary level over the next four years and hoped the project would meet great  success.He said the government of Pakistan was planning to convene a national conference and adopt a declaration on education, as was proposed by Prime Minister Cameron during his recent visit to Pakistan.Alan Duncan appreciated the efforts of Pakistan government and its security forces against militancy and reiterated British support to the democratic government in Pakistan in dealing with this menace.

He said Britain would continue to support Pakistan in every possible manner in overcoming difficulties faced by the country in various areas. The United Kingdom, he said would continue to support Pakistan in its development and considers education section as top priority to ensure development of the backward areas.He said his government would extend all possible support in employment generation and poverty eradication in militancy and flood affected areas of Pakistan.He also assured continued support of the British government to Pakistan’s efforts in fight against militancy and terrorism. – APP