Islamabad, Pakistan (BBN)- The United States is going to provide US$200 million more in aid to assist Pakistanis displaced by a military offensive against Taliban militants, a U.S. envoy said Wednesday.
U.S. Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke announced this while talking to newsmen along with President Asif Ali Zardari and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in the capital, Islamabad.
The envoy also said U.S. President Barack Obama has sought an extra aid of $200 million from the Congress. Hopefully the Congress will accede to it, the top US envoy to the region added.
Mr. Holbrooke said the cash was needed for emergency aid to help people affected by the anti-Taliban offensive.
The envoy also urged the international community to join in and do more to help create a democratic and secure Pakistan.
“I hope people of Pakistan will understand our country’s leading role in responding quickly in this need of hour. President Obama is personally involved in it as US really cares about Pakistan,” GEO news was quoted Mr. Holbrooke as saying.
Foreign Minister of Pakistan Shah Mehmood Qureshi thanked the U.S. for providing $110 million in aid to Pakistan, saying Pakistan was appreciative of this U.S. gesture.
The foreign minister said the present democratic government made sincere efforts to build national consensus and a way forward to fight against militancy.
President Asif Ali Zardari said Pakistan is committed to defend its territory from the militants. But he acknowledged that the fight to win hearts and minds was only just beginning.
BBN/SS/SI/AD-04June09-3:21 am (BST)