US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke speaks before the press in Tokyo on April 18, 2009, one day after he attend the Pakistan donor countries conference.
US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke speaks before the press in Tokyo on April 18, 2009, one day after he attend the Pakistan donor countries conference. - AFP

TOKYO Pakistan needs further international support, US special envoy Richard Holbrooke said on Saturday as he warned that a pledge of five billion dollars was 'not enough' to stabilise the troubled nation.

 

At an aid meeting in Tokyo on Friday, donor countries pledged a total of 5.28 billion dollars to stabilise Pakistan, seen as a frontline state against Islamic extremism.

 

The United States and Japan pledged one billion dollars each at the meeting Tokyo co-hosted with the World Bank.

 

'Five billion dollars is not enough,' said Holbrooke, US special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

 

The terrorists in western Pakistan are planning other attacks around the world ... so we need to work hard to strengthen the government of Pakistan, to deal with the tribal areas with all its problems, he said.

 

'We should - after congratulating the result yesterday - we should be very mindful of the fact that the problem is far from over,' he said.

 

He declined to give a figure on how much money was required to stabilise Pakistan, but noted that some economists say the number 'is as high as 50 billion dollars.'

 

More than half of Pakistans people live below the poverty line of two dollars a day and 'even in great cities like Karachi - which I would point out is the worlds largest Muslim city - 17 million people (live) with only a few hours of electricity a day,' he added.

 

'I cant set a specific goal for 2012,' when Obamas term ends, said Holbrooke.

 

'But I will say this the situation in Afghanistan cannot be the same in 2012.'

 

'The measurement of success in Afghanistan is returning the security responsibility to the local security authorities,' he said.

 

'Pakistan is even more difficult. There is a clear red line laid out publicly by the government. No foreign boots of the troops on that ground in Pakistan.

 

'So its up to Pakistan to defend itself with the international assistance for economic and military,' he said.

 

He said the people fighting alongside the Taliban were divided into three groups, led by a small group of 'hard-core

Taliban who has extreme views on things like womens rights, sharia law.'

 

The second group were those who joined the militants 'because they have grievances against the government' over corruption or military operations that killed family members, while the third group was a large number of people who fought for the Taliban because they paid more than the Afghan army.

 

'When you talk about reconciliation, its reaching out to those last two groups,' Holbrooke said.

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