Economic assistance from US stable, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh

The Federal Finance Minister, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, on Saturday, December 4 divulged that the economic assistance to Pakistan from the United States of America is stable despite a sudden dip in relationship between the two countries
after the Nato strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers and wounded 12.

The minister said that US was giving an aid of about $500 million to Pakistan and is there is no change in that. Shaikh, however, emphasized the need to utilize our own resources and not to rely on other countries to help us out.

The federal minister, who held a press conference at the Karachi Press Club said, “We want to increase trade and investment with the world which is the only sustainable way to economic progress. Government now wants to do two things:
first is to continue the present economic stability and then to increase tax collection that is necessary for the country.”

Shaikh continued, “Pakistan has seen toughest times in last four years on political and economical fronts but all these challenges have made us strong. The perseverance that Pakistanis have shown over the last few decades is our
asset. Government also needs to complete power sector projects in time to increase the pace of reforms in power sector.”

Pakistan and US have been allies in the war against terrorism but after the recent incident that took place near the Pak-Afghan border, things turned sour to some extent. Pakistan has demanded an apology from Nato and a confirmation
that no such incidents should take place in foreseeable future.

However, after the cold response from Nato, the government of Pakistan has called for the evacuation of Shami base and the cabinet and the parliament also passed their judgement on boycotting the Bonn Conference, which will be
held in Germany on Monday. The Bonn Conference is being conducted by countries part of Nato and Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani was supposed to take part in it but will now be boycotting it.

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