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US ready to help Pak combat `plague of blackouts`: Holbrooke

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 19, 2009 - 23:53

Karachi: The US on Wednesday pledged to assist
Pakistan in tackling its crippling energy crisis and boosting
economic development as the top American envoy for the region
paid a visit to the country`s commercial hub.

The US envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard
Holbrooke, who arrived in Pakistan on Saturday, toured the
port city of Karachi and met the Governor of Sindh province
and other senior officials.

A group of US energy experts and engineers were due to
arrive in the country on Thursday to begin technical planning
for American assistance, he told reporters here. Holbrooke
said the US was also ready to assist Pakistan in improving its
economic condition.

"Addressing a plague of blackouts and opening access to
new markets are vital early components in this effort for
long-term economic stability. The energy shortfall represents
a clear crisis for Pakistan," he said.

Holbrooke also announced yearly 100 US visas for the
business community of Karachi.

The US envoy lauded the recent success achieved by
Pakistani troops against the Taliban in the northwest tribal
belt. The war against the extremists was "a different kind of
war with a different kind of enemy that straddles the border
of the two countries and poses equal threats to Afghanistan,
Pakistan and the United States...Its a common enemy," he said.

Bureau Report

First Published: Wednesday, August 19, 2009 - 23:53
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