British Foreign Secy in Pak; says aid to Afghanistan conditional

Last Updated: Saturday, January 9, 2010 - 23:34

Islamabad: Britain`s Foreign Secretary said
today that international financial support for Afghanistan was
conditional on a better performance by Afghan President Hamid
Karzai`s government, which has been tainted by accusations of
corruption.

"We won`t pay, and others won`t pay, if we`re not sure
where the money`s going," David Miliband told in an interview in the Pakistani capital.

Miliband was in Pakistan for a two-day visit, his sixth
since becoming foreign secretary. He was in the British-allied
South Asian nation to promote an upcoming conference in London
on Afghanistan.

The conference will be co-hosted by the British and
Afghan governments at the end of January and bring together
more than 60 countries and international institutions.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has laid out a series
of milestones for the conference, which Afghanistan`s
government will have to stick to. Those milestones include a
timetable for reforming the country`s police force and
fighting corruption.

Miliband said Karzai had set out a "very clear roadmap"
during his recent inauguration speech asking the international
community for more support. But Miliband said the world would
be watching to see if Karzai would fulfill his promises to
improve the lives of Afghans.

`Pak`s success against terror linked to situation in Afghan`

The top leadership of the restive
North West Frontier Province today told visiting British
Foreign Secretary David Miliband that Pakistan`s success in
the war against terrorism was closely linked to the emerging
situation in Afghanistan.

This was conveyed to Miliband by NWFP Govenor Owais Ahmed
Ghani and Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti during a
meeting at the Frontier House in Islamabad.

They told Miliband that the gains in Pakistan could be
negated if the situation in Afghanistan does not improve.

Ghani and Hoti briefed Miliband about the success of the
NWFP government in the war against militancy.

The provincial administration is heading forward in a
phased manner and the problem of militancy has been overcome
"to a great extent" in most areas except a few pockets in the
tribal belt bordering Afghanistan, they said.

They also pointed out that the Awami National Party,
which rules the NWFP, had lost two parliamentarians and
hundreds of workers in the fight against terrorism.

Miliband conceded that there is a "need to understand the
dynamics of the situation on the ground," official sources
said.

Ghani and Hoti also said the NWFP government is now
stepping up the second phase of its strategy to counter
militancy by taking up rehabilitation and reconstruction
activities.

Concrete planning for this is already underway, they
said.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, January 9, 2010 - 23:34

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