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Pakistan seeks waiver of $50 bn foreign debt

Islamabad, Nov 14 (IANS) Pakistan Sunday urged the international community to waive its debt of over $50 billion to ease the financial burden on the country and enable it to combat terrorism and other challenges.

The country has paid a ‘heavy price’ after becoming part of the war on terror in 2001, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said at the inauguration of the two-day Pakistan Development Forum here.

‘The waived-off foreign debt will be utilised in the fight against terrorism,’ he said adding: ‘We need trade instead of aid.’

The minister said: ‘Terrorism in Pakistan is being exported from Afghanistan as around 50,000 people crossover daily to the Pakistani side from the porous borders with Afghanistan.’

Pakistan has been demanding financial and trade assistance from the world after suffering from heavy losses of life and infrastructure in rampant terrorism activities that have killed thousands of people since the start of operations against the Taliban in the country’s northwest and neighbouring Afghanistan since 2001.

At the Forum, Pakistan’s provincial and federal representatives presented before the audience, which included foreign envoys and representatives of financial institutions, details of their requirements after the devastation caused by the floods, which have left more than 1,800 people dead and over 20 million homeless across the country.

(Awais Saleem can be contacted at ians.pakistan@gmail.com)

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