‘World applauds Pakistan’s anti-militant operations’

NEW YORK: The global community has greatly appreciated the successful operation against the militants in the Swat and Malakand regions by the present elected government and has expressed strong economic and political support for democratic Pakistan, said Islamabad’s envoy to the United States Husain Haqqani.

In an interview with APP here ahead of the Friends of Democratic Pakistan (FoDP) summit to be co chaired by President Asif Ali Zardari, US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown this week, he said the FoDP member countries would affirm their support for Pakistan in addressing the challenges it faces on the economic and security fronts.

The FoDP summit level meeting will be attended by twenty member countries and international financial institutions including World Bank, Asian Development Bank and the IMF.

Ambassador Haqqani said the FoDP summit will put across an unequivocal message for Pakistan that it would not be left alone in the fight against terror as was done after the Russian-Afghan war and that the international community would extend all possible help and succour to Pakistan to preserve its sovereignty, security, democracy and economic development.

He said it was quite evident that Pakistan’s army could perform any arduous task with the backing of the people, adding that the public opinion in Pakistan was absolutely against any extremism.

To a question, Mr Haqqani said the FoDP will also suggest measures to facilitate market access for Pakistani products in the EU and other countries which, he added, however could not be done overnight

The envoy underscored that Pakistan has a strong case for continued international backing as its problems have roots in the world-supported effort when it helped fight the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s and now the country is spearheading the fight against extremism.

‘Pakistan’s elected democratic government, its brave armed forces and the people are unanimous in their belief that terrorism is a threat to the country and that the efforts against the menace are not meant to please anybody but they are aimed at ensuring our own security and safety,’ he stated.

Among prominent participants at the FoDP summit will be the prime ministers of Spain, Norway, Denmark, Japan and top leaders from Germany, China, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

‘All these countries stand for security, stability and prosperity of Pakistan and their participation will reassure the Pakistani nation of their support.’

‘The summit will help remove apprehensions that the world will once again abandon the country, as had been the case in the past,’ he said in reference to the United States and world powers abandoning Afghanistan and Pakistan after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989.

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