Zardari presses for 'economic diplomacy' to speed up aid | world | Hindustan Times
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Zardari presses for 'economic diplomacy' to speed up aid

world Updated: Jul 15, 2009 12:56 IST

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has asked the government to launch 'economic diplomacy' to quickly get the money pledged by the global community for rebuilding in the wake of the war against the Taliban, a media report said.

He made the remarks during a meeting at his office to review the progress made so far after two separate donor meetings to help Pakistan in Tokyo this April. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and senior officials attended the meeting, the Online news agency said on Tuesday.

At the Tokyo conference, the US and Japan pledged $1 billion each in aid to Pakistan. Saudi Arabia, Iran, United Arab Emirates and Turkey also promised millions of dollars to Islamabad to help the thousands of people uprooted from their homes due to the war against the Taliban.

Briefing the media, former Pakistani senator Farhatullah Babar, who attended the meeting, said the president has advised the government to set up an economic diplomacy wing at the foreign ministry.

The Economic Diplomacy Task Group will also include representatives from the private sector, Babar said, citing the president.

Foreign minister Qureshi said after the meeting of the Friends of Democratic Pakistan (FoDP) in Tokyo, several working groups were set up on energy, capacity building, finance, security and trade. These working groups had met recently, he said.

Zardari said the FoDP initiative was a long-term commitment of the international community to help Pakistan meet its economic challenges in the wake of the military operation in the country.