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Islamabad offers $20m for Afghan forces

Islamabad offers $20m for Afghan forces

May 22, 2012 - 11:17

 CHICAGO/WASHINGTON (PANinfo-icon):  Pakistaninfo-icon on Monday promised $20 million in assistance to help bolster fledgling Afghan security forces and provide them training and equipment.  

President Asif Ali Zardari announced his government’s financial contribution while addressing the two-day NATOinfo-icon meeting in Chicago, which focused on Afghanistaninfo-icon's future.

“Pakistan will contribute five million dollars to support the Afghan National Security Forces, besides 15 million dollars in training and equipment,” Zardari said, describing the summit as a defining moment for Afghanistan and the region as a whole.

A peaceful, prosperous and stable Afghanistan was in Pakistan’s national interest, said the president. “As the government and people of Afghanistan increasingly assume security responsibilities for their country, I am confident that they will meet this challenge.

"Success in Afghanistan will confirm once again that partnerships can and do to transform the fortunes of a nation,” he remarked, noting that the international commitment to Afghanistan must be firm and complete, The worldinfo-icon must stay the course and ensure a strong and peaceful Afghanistan beyond 2014, he stressed.   

International support to effective and sustainable Afghan National Security Forces in the post-transition period was critical and Pakistan would stoutly back efforts for peace and reconciliation.

“We firmly believe that only an inclusive intra-Afghan dialogue can lead to sustainable peace in Afghanistan,” added Zardari.

 In his address, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged international partners to remain committed to supporting the Central Asian nation even as they pulled out their troops. “Afghanistan faces clear and difficult security and development challenges, yet our resources are limited, the UN cannot fill all the gaps,” he said.

 “Let us send an unmistakable signal: Afghanistan’s international partners will not withdraw their support as they drawdown their military presence. The commitment of neighbours and other countries in the region will be crucial,” Ban concluded.



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