An international donors' conference in Japan has raised $5 billion to
help Pakistan rebuild its economy and confront militant groups.
The United States and Japan
each pledged $1 billion, but Washington's special envoy to Pakistan and
Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke, says large donations from the United
Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Iran send a clear message that
stabilizing Pakistan is a global concern.
the international support that Pakistan is now receiving. And I hope
that the people of Pakistan understand the huge significance of such a
outpouring of support of countries of such diversity," he said.
underscored the dangers that a resurgent Taliban and terrorist groups
such as al-Qaeda, who have a stronghold in western Pakistan, pose to
the international community.
"These are the men who committed
the atrocities of 9/11 in the United States, who attacked Mumbai, who
planned the attacks in Spain and Britain, who killed Benazir Bhutto,
and who have attacked inside Pakistan," he said. "I have no doubt
whatsoever that they are planning attacks as we sit here in Tokyo on
other capitols and other opportunities around the world."
envoy says what happens in Pakistan also has a direct impact on the
ongoing war in Afghanistan. Militants continue to launch attacks on
U.S. and coalition forces using the frontier region as their base.
this issue is of special interest to many in Japan. During the
administration of former U.S. president George W. Bush, Washington
asked Tokyo to commit ground forces in addition to the naval support it
had already dispatched.
Holbrooke says he will not press Japan on this matter.
I'm not going to tell Japan what to do with its self defense forces,
that's for them to decide and I would never come to Japan and tell them
to send troops unless they wish to. There are many other ways to
assist. I think the naval deployment in the Indian Ocean is very
important, particularly with the new piracy problems," he said.
Holbrooke adds that Japan has been a key partner in Afghanistan's agricultural development.
August, Afghanistan will hold its second presidential election since
the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001. Holbrooke says Washington is
neither supporting nor opposing any candidate who chooses to run.