The US Special Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke, has emphatically stated that the United States supports civilian, democratically elected government in Pakistan.He was talking to media after a meeting with Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, at the CM House here on Wednesday night.“We support a civilian, democratically elected government in Pakistan,” Holbrooke, a top US diplomat, remarked and reiterated it.
He stated that we also worked closely with the Army which is part of that government.Holbrooke, who had earlier visited the relief camp in the Thatta District on Wednesday afternoon, replying to a question spoke of the Kerry-Lugar Bill of $7.5 billion and recalled that in July this year he and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, had visited Islamabad and announced how we want to spend that money- water and electricity projects, health and education etc with the emphasis on energy and water.
Holbrooke said, “We are switching some of the money and already switched dollars 50 million and that as a result of this trip we will recommend to switch more.”
He said that he would talk to his colleagues regarding that and also the Government of Pakistan about the same.
Holbrooke said that this will mean that some of the planned projects of the Kerry-Lugar may have to be delayed because of the flood emergency in Pakistan.
He stated that the priority clearly is to deal with the crisis caused by the floods.Holbrooke praised the efforts of the Government of Pakistan to help the flood affectees.
He also lauded the excellent efforts by the Pakistan military in this respect.
Holbrooke pointed out that the United States flew American helicopters from a ship that had been brought in from the Persian Gulf, specifically to help Pakistan.
He said that 20 to 30 US helicopters are working for the flood relief efforts.
The US Special Representative said that the US gave more assistance and faster than any other country but this is not going to be enough.
Holbrooke pointed out that Pakistan needs a massive international support and that we will continue to mobilise American and international support but the leadership must come from Islamabad and Karachi and from the people of Pakistan to set the priorities.
Holbrooke said that it is up to the government of Pakistan to deal with the problem in the tribal areas and the border areas and elsewhere. “But right now our focus is on the floods”, he further remarked.
Sindh Ministers Saifullah Dharejo and Syed Murad Ali Shah, and the US Consul General in Karachi William Martin were also present on the occasion.