Gilani asks international community 'to be patient with Pak' | world | Hindustan Times
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Gilani asks international community 'to be patient with Pak'

Amid criticism from Western donors over widespread corruption within the PPP-led government and misuse of aid, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Monday asked the international community "to be patient with Pakistan" as it grapples with a host of challenges ranging from terrorism to post-flood reconstruction.

world Updated: Nov 15, 2010 17:37 IST

Amid criticism from Western donors over widespread corruption within the PPP-led government and misuse of aid, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Monday asked the international community "to be patient with Pakistan" as it grapples with a host of challenges ranging from terrorism to post-flood reconstruction.

The government is committed to "lead people through painful yet fundamental reforms", Gilani said in his address at the plenary session of the Pakistan Development Forum, which is being attended by representatives of countries and institutions providing aid to the country.

"We are prepared to take political risks for providing the necessary leadership to our people. We have demonstrated our will to take unpopular decisions. However, our resolve to lead our people to a glorious tomorrow is unflinching," Gilani said.

Pakistan has faced considerable criticism from Western donors in recent months over widespread corruption within the government and reports of misuse of aid provided for millions of people affected by devastating floods earlier 2009.

It has also faced criticism from key allies, including the US, for relying too much on external aid and failing to do more to raise revenues from internal resources.

Gilani referred to these concerns in his speech and said Pakistan, like other developing countries, has "problems of governance" and "issues of transparency and corruption."

"Please consider this as work in progress. Kindly be patient with Pakistan...We look towards you for understanding and support,” the prime minister underlined.

The PPP leader acknowledged that the country does not "invest enough" in social sectors and needs global assistance, knowledge and expertise to overcome such challenges.

He highlighted the need for "long-term, consistent support" so that "we can continue on a journey which would make Pakistan, and its people, realize their full potential".

"The extreme difficulties that...the people of Pakistan have faced over the last three years have tested us. They have tested our resolve as a nation. They have tested our courage. They have tested our determination. They have tested our resilience. We as a nation have faced these challenges,” the prime minister said.

"In an environment that has been badly damaged by floods, and badly shaken by frequent attacks by terrorists, our people must not lose hope. We want to give our people especially our youth, a message of hope. That is the only way to realize the potential we talk about when we speak of a demographic dividend," Gilani added.