ICCI asks USA to do more for Pakistan

  • November 03, 2009
 Welcoming the total new assistance of US$ 243.5 million for Pakistan committed by US Secretary Hillary Clinton during her three days visit to Pakistan, businessmen in a meeting held at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) asked USA to do more for Pakistan.

Chairing the meeting, Zahid Maqbool, President, ICCI said that Pakistan has suffered more than US$ 35 billion for fighting war against militancy and terrorism as a front line state while according to some experts Pakistan’s economy is suffering an annual loss of US$ 5 billion on this account. However, he said, extending non-military aid of US$ 7.5 billion that too over a period of five years, is not sufficient to duly compensate Pakistan for its economic damages.

He said better option for USA to help Pakistan is to promote trade. He stressed upon US and EU to provide Pakistani products easy access to their markets and extend it a preferential trade facility which is the best way of supporting Pakistan to cope with prevailing economic challenges. It will also give boost to business activities in the country.

Businessmen said that by fighting war against terrorists, Pakistan is not fighting only for its own security; rather it is promoting the security interests of USA and the whole world. Therefore, all stakeholder countries should come forward to strengthen Pakistan’s economy by providing priority trade facilities and making investment in the country.

They said that US is terming Pakistan as its key ally and strategic partner, but regretted that financial aid is straddled with conditionalities that hurt the feelings of Pakistani people and challenge the sovereignty of the country while justice demands that aid should be provided on the basis of mutual trust and respect.

Zahid Maqbool urged that on her return to USA, Hillary Clinton should play its due role in convincing US administration to remove all reservations of Pakistanis over the unwanted strings attached with Kerry-Lugal Law to extend aid to Pakistan on friendly terms.