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working on plan for Pakistanís debt relief: Official
ISLAMABAD Oct 21 (NNI):
U.S Under Secretary for Economic, Business and Agriculture Affairs, Mr.
Alan Larson has assured that Washington is in consultations with Pakistan
and other creditors to tailor a programme for Pakistan that fits its
needs, interest, opportunities and its debt profile.
He added that his country is working on modalities meant for providing
meaningful, immediate and lasting debt relief to it in a bid to maximizes
opportunities and lay foundation for trade and investment relationship.
He was addressing a joint press conference with Pakistan Finance Minister,
Mr. Shaukat Aziz after their talks here Sunday. Avoiding direct answer
about waiving of Pakistanís debts on the pattern of Egypt, at the time of
Gulf war the US Under Secretary said Washington is in consultations with
Pakistan and other creditors to tailor a programme for Pakistan that fits
its needs, interest, opportunities and its debt profile.
He said the United States is trying to be flexible about the modalities so
that the relief is immediate, lasting and has a sustainable approach to
Pakistan's debt. Mr. Alan Larson said he has come to Pakistan on the
direction of President Bush for developing long term cooperative
arrangements with Pakistan. They wanted to felicitate the government and
the people of Pakistan to become a growing economy that produces benefits
and jobs to its people. He said they are talking about laying the
foundation in trade and investment on long term basis. He said that he
discussed with Pakistani Finance Minister on how to put together a
sustainable package of measures to support the strong economic reform
programme of Pakistan, the support that Pakistan can get from
international financial institutions, other bilateral donors including the
United States, debt relief package as well as market access and to promote
Mr. Larson pointed out that during the last few weeks the US government
has moved for normal economic relations with Pakistan and bilateral
economic assistance as well as to encourage other donors to extend
economic assistance to Pakistan. The United States is actively supporting
Pakistan's negotiations for a new agreement with the IMF. Islamabad has
good relations with the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank and
Washington is supporting for increase access to resources of these
The US Under Secretary said they want to mobilize international community
behind a generous treatment to Pakistan once new IMF agreement has been
concluded. He said his priorities are to work with Pakistan to stabilize
and enhance Pakistan's trade relations with the United States. The US
government is looking at new measures to increase access of Pakistani
products in US markets. As an immediate step, the United States is
restoring some of the benefits under General
System of products (GSP) and was working with Congress to extend new GSP
benefits for certain products. He said the United States is committed to
remove quotas on other textile related products. In addition, they are
working with Congress to consider ways to stimulate Pakistan's major
exports. Mr. Alen Larson said the overseas private investment
cooperationís have extended a line of credit of three hundred million
dollars, Export and Import Bank is also considering a number of projects
to promote business relationship. He said the United States has already
announced to provide thirty million dollars in food assistance to Pakistan
and working in a number of areas including border security and law
enforcement programme with Pakistan. He appreciated the cooperation that
Washington has received from Pakistan after the 11th of September
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