President unhappy over US aid cut

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President Asif Ali Zardari has showed his displeasure over the recent development of slashing US assistance as any cut at this stage would impact the existing economic situation and send a negative signal to the public about the US commitment towards Pakistan. The people of Pakistan are suffering heavily in economic terms due to the unparalleled toll in war against terror. He emphasised the need to do away with all such legislation and hoped that the US would take into consideration the difficult situation from which Pakistan is going through. The president expressed these views in a meeting with a US delegation comprising Senator Carl Levin, Senator Jeff Merkley, Senator Jeanne Shaheen and other senior officials including that of the US embassy in Islamabad, which called on him at Aiwan-e-Sadr on Tuesday. Matters relating to Pak-US bilateral relations, war against terror and regional situation were discussed during the meeting. About the fight against militants, the president said that Pakistan has offered huge sacrifices in this war. He said that the militants were created and nurtured by the international community to defeat a rival ideology. At that time, the Mujahideen were likened as the moral equivalents of George Washington the president said and added that it is the responsibility of the international community to help Pakistan in the fight against militants. He said that people of Pakistan, especially those of tribal areas are the worst sufferers of militancy and there is an urgent need to focus on their socio-economic development and bring qualitative change in their lives in order to win the battle of hearts and minds. The president observed that both the countries have invested substantially on building the process of strategic dialogue and they must not allow some incidents to rollback the labour of building an enduring and multifaceted equation, as it is no option for the two countries at this critical time. He further said that drag on the relations due to the irritants could effectively be avoided if the terms of engagements are clearly defined and followed in their true essence by the two countries. He said both the countries need to avoid all actions that send negative signal and prove to be counter-productive in their bid to forge a collaborative and comprehensive partnership. The meeting, from the Pakistan side, was attended by Defence Minister, Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, Secretary General, M. Salman Faruqui, Senator Syeda Sughra Imam, Acting Foreign Secretary, Dr Alamgir Babar, and Spokesperson to the President, Farhatullah Babar besides other senior officials.

Courtesy : Business Recorder

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