x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Friends of Pakistan pledge support

Pakistan and potential donors held a meeting in the UAE to look into providing support for the country on Monday.

ABU DHABI // Pakistan and potential donors held a meeting in the UAE on Monday to look into providing support for the Asian country in the face of a balance of payments crisis. The "Friends of Pakistan" conference met for for talks with representatives of 14 countries, including the US and Saudi Arabia, following a $7.6 billion (Dh27bn) IMF emergency loan agreed at the weekend as part of a broader economic rescue plan.

"It's ultimatley a demonstration of political support by the friends of Pakistan to Pakistan and provides a forum where they can discuss how best they can help," said Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, the additional foreign secretary in Pakistan. "As our economy needs support, our mandate was to put in place a framework so that things can move, and that has been agreed, which was a big development. Financing is one issue, technical support is another. It is too early to put figures to it, it has to be studied first."

The international community is concerned that an economic meltdown in the nuclear-armed state could play into the hands of al Qaeda and allied militant groups seeking to destabilise the nation of 170 million. Further meetings of the group will be held early next year. *With Reuters