Thursday, April 09, 2009
Pakistan needs a Marshall Plan: Haqqani
Daily Times Monitor
LAHORE: Ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani on Tuesday called for a $30 billion Marshall Plan for Pakistan and Afghanistan over the next five years to fight Al Qaeda, blunt anti-Americanism and secure Pakistan from extremists.
Haqqani told The Washington Times that the cost to the West was negligible compared to that of rescuing failing banks and corporations.
“…the cost of a Marshall Plan for Afghanistan and Pakistan is going to be minuscule [compared] to the bailouts being given to American car companies,” Haqqani said. “And the impact in terms of American security and in terms of the longer term stability of the world in a very precarious region will be far greater. Pakistan has the will to fight terrorists, it needs the means and the United States should provide those.”
Haqqani said Pakistan needs $5 billion a year for the next five years to build local law enforcement, strengthen counter-insurgency and persuade the average Pakistan that the US-led war on extremism is essential for the country’s survival.
The ambassador denied published reports that the Inter-Services Intelligence was helping the Taliban. “There are contacts for source building,” he said. “The era of active support for jihadis is over.”
Haqqani said the current government is fully committed to the war on terror and to partnership with the US.
Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan