Only 47 % Pakistanis favour working with Afghanistan

57 % Pakistanis agree that they share a common interest with Afghanistan in fighting insurgency, US Prez said.

Last Updated: Apr 06, 2011, 21:05 PM IST

Washington: Only 47 per cent of Pakistanis
favour Pakistan and Afghanistan working together to fight
terrorism, even as 57 per cent of them agree that both the
countries share a common interest in fighting insurgency, US
President Barack Obama has told the Congress.

"A Department of State survey showed that 66 per cent of
Pakistanis said they want to see their country make efforts to
improve relations with Kabul, and 57 per cent of Pakistanis
agreed that Pakistan and Afghanistan share a common interest
in fighting terrorism," Obama said revealing a recent survey
by the State Department.

"However, only 47 per cent of Pakistanis were in favour
of Pakistan and Afghanistan working together to fight
terrorism, with 36 per cent opposed," the US President said in
his report to Congress on Afghanistan and Pakistan sent
yesterday.

The 2010 Afghanistan-Pakistan Annual Review includes an
evaluation of the progress made during the period of this
report, which marked the full deployment of the US troops
"surge" to Afghanistan that he announced in December 2009,
Obama said in a letter to the Congressional leaders.

Obama said during October1 - December 31, US disbursed
over USD 206 million in civilian assistance and over USD 82.4
million in military assistance to Pakistan, continuing a
modest upward trend on the civilian side.

"As of December 2010, the US Embassy reported that in
total, the United States Agency for International Development
(USAID) has disbursed USD 877.9 million in civilian assistance
since the passage of Kerry-Lugar-Berman legislation in fall
2009, not including emergency humanitarian assistance.

While some new programmes are underway, it will take time
for other projects, particularly large infrastructure
projects, to be fully implemented," he said.

The United States Government, primarily USAID, channeled
about 50 per cent of Kerry-Lugar-Berman funding directly
through GOP institutions, which supports Pakistani priorities
while also building local capacity.

Continual dialogue between the Ministry of Finance and
the Embassy resulted in a detailed plan for aligning US
assistance with Pakistan`s budget, although some USD 310
million was redirected to support flood reconstruction.

In addition, USD 190 million was pledged to support the
GOP`s Citizen`s Damage Compensation Fund, its highest priority
flood recovery programme. US also delivered approximately
USD516 million in emergency humanitarian flood relief.

"Major international partners held two conferences in
this quarter - the FODP hosted by the European Union in
October, and the Pakistan Development Forum in Islamabad in
November," he said adding that the meetings marked the
transition from emergency relief from the summer flooding to a
return to long-term development and economic reform
priorities.

"Day-to-day assistance coordination improved through the
efforts of the new UN Special Envoy Rauf Engin Soysal.

Ambassador Soysal previously served as the Turkish Ambassador
to Pakistan and as Ambassador Holbrooke`s Turkish
counterpart as Special Representative for Afghanistan and
Pakistan (SRAP), and so he has strong working relationships
with the GOP, donors, and major international organizations,"
he said.

PTI