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August 8, 2011

Afghanistan is war-hit Pakistan’s major aid recipient


August 8, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Though Pakistan did not perform on economic front as good as India, yet Islamabad did a lot on humanitarian front in the last 10 years if its inadequate economic growth and the ongoing war on terror is kept in view.
The War on Terror is the main factor that has adversely affected the Pakistan’s economy and inflicted a huge injury amounting to over $ 68 billion as per economic survey 2010-11, but according to the independent economic experts, Pakistan’s economy sustained over $ 100 billion loss in the last 10 years.
This war contributed a lot to slow down Pakistan economy, but even then the data of Emergency Relief Fund shows how Pakistan is too much sensitive to the calamities and disasters that hit the various countries in the last 10 years.
Pakistan’s contributions to mitigate the suffering of the countries hit by natural calamities are not only commendable but also helped Islamabad a lot to safeguard its economic interests. Sri Lanka, China, Iran, Nepal, Maldives and Afghanistan are the countries where Pakistan did a lot on humanitarian front and also managed to keep its say in the said countries.
As far as Afghanistan is concerned, Pakistan during the Musharraf regime announced the $300 million (over Rs 25.5 billion) grant for various projects out of which Pakistan has so far doled out $ 175 million (Rs 12 billion) since the announcement of the then President Pervez Musharraf during his visit to Kabul.
However, in 2009-10, according to Additional Secretary at Finance Ministry Mr Rana Asad Amin, Pakistan provided Rs 2 billion to Afghanistan to complete the various projects. Likewise, Rs 2.5 billion each allocated to Afghanistan in 2010-11 and current financial year 2011-12.
And in the future Pakistan will keep on doling out the amount to Afghanistan under the pledged $ 300 million grant. The Emergency Relief Fund Data is an eye opener for those who deem Pakistan did not play its role on the humanitarian front which is

vital to keep its economic interests intact.
According to Emergency Relief Fund data, Pakistan in 2003 donated Rs 53.9 million in the shape of kind in to to to four countries that include Rs 1.72 million to Sri Lanka for flood victims, Rs 10.9 million to Algeria for earthquake victims and Rs 2.6 million to China for fight against sars and Rs 38.7 million to Iraq for war victims.
In 2004, Pakistan again donated Rs 171 million in kinds to four countries that include Rs 140.8 million go Iran for earthquake victims, Rs 3 million for Sri Lanka for drought victims, Rs 9.8 million to Afghanistan for food shortage and Rs 18.2 million to Bangladesh for flood victims.
However, when catastrophic tsunami badly hit Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Maldives in 2005, Pakistan came up with a bang and helped the said countries on big way and donated Rs 668 million for the said three countries. In addition Pakistan also extended the donation of Rs 26.3 million in kind to Comoros in the head od food assistance.
In 2006, Pakistan bequeathed Rs197.8 million to three countries including Rs 7.7 million in kind to Iran for earthquake victims, Rs 92.2 million to Indonesia also for earthquake victims and Rs 97.9 million to Lebanon for war affected people.
In 2007, China was provided Rs 1.875 million in kind for flood affected people, Bangladesh given Rs 72.19 million for cyclone affected people. However, Pakistan in 2008 donated Rs 5 million to Myanmar for cyclone affected people, and Rs 160.503 million to China for earthquake affected people and Rs 1.153 million to Nepal for flood victims.
And in 2009, Pakistan provided Rs 33.338 million in kind to Palestinians of Gaza. In addition, in 2008, Pakistan also provided Rs 81 million in kind to Cuba for hurricane affected people. As far as Pakistan’s authorities are concerned, they managed to ink trade deals with China and Sri Lanka with which Pakistan also possess the in-depth strategic relations.
However, India seems ahead when it comes to the capacity of the Pakistan entrepreneurs to exploit the potential lies in the Free Trade Agreements with China and Sri Lank. There is a dire need to develop Pakistan’s entrepreneurship at par with India’s to make roads in the markets of other countries.
India has not trade deal with China, but its (India) entrepreneurs are too much smart and able to penetrate the market of China. But Pakistan’s business tycoons have failed to tap the Chinese market to a required extent despite the fact that there exists FTA between Beijing and China.
According to the data available with The News arranged from Finance Ministry, Pakistan also extended exports credits of about $ 337 million to 14 friendly countries in 90s to keep its clout intact. Out of which, Pakistan, wrote off the loans amounting to $ 55 million which include $5 million to Yemen, $ 20 million to Bosnia-Herzegovina, $ 20 million to Tajikistan, and $ 10 million to Kyrgyzstan.
The data shows that Pakistan had provided export credit of $50 million to Sri Lank in 1999 for defence purposes to further cement the relations. However, Sri Lanka paid back the said amount to Pakistan.
Pakistan provided to Bangladesh the credit of $5.5 million for cement plant and $ 12.089 million for sugar plant respectively in 1988 and 1992. In 1994, Turkmenistan was provided a credit of $ 10 million which is now fully recovered. Likewise, Pakistan also provided export credit of $ 10 million to Turkmenistan in 1992, $ 10 million to Sudan in 1992, $ 50 million to Iraq in 1989, $ 10m to Iraq again in 1994 and then again $ 20 million to Iraq in 1996.

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