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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