Pakistan Praises Generous UAE Efforts
- 7 October 2010
The UAE is always among countries extending prompt help to the needy in the aftermath of natural calamities and it was amongst the first to respond when Pakistan was hit by devastating floods. The country offered all possible aid and assistance immediately and is still continuing its support to ease the impact of the catastrophe and deal with its consequences. These acts of generosity have been appreciated by Pakistanis and tributes have poured in from various quarters. The most recent tribute was paid by the Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani during his meeting with a delegation of the Board of Directors of the Emirati Red Crescent in Islamabad on Tuesday. Gilani praised the efforts made by the UAE, under the leadership of the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to help his country during the crisis. He said that the people of Pakistan will never forget the help extended by the UAE government and its people in alleviating the plight of those affected.
The tribute paid by Pakistan – which preceded a similar vote of thanks from Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari – indicates the quantum of efforts made by the UAE on both government and popular levels in order to help the people of Pakistan and alleviate their suffering. This was done through both bilateral channels and through the framework of multilateral assistance and support. This UAE support for Pakistan wasn’t a one-off assistance extended on a contingency basis but was part of a general directive from the country’s leadership which is interested in all-round development of Pakistan. Such a desire was indicated by UAE Foreign Minister His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in an article published by the London-based Al Sharq Al Awsat on September 19 2010. His Highness affirmed that the natural disaster caused by floods is only one of the several challenges facing Pakistan and the UAE’s aim is to help the country achieve sustainable development.
The Friends of Democratic Pakistan (FoDP) was set up in 2008 with similar objectives. The group has since then become one of the essential donors and important supporters of the country and has even announced a donation of $300 million during the Group’s meeting in Tokyo in 2009. The UAE continues to support Pakistan’s overall development on a sustainable basis without limiting its assistance to times of crises. This approach stems from the UAE’s awareness of the importance of Pakistan not only in the Indian subcontinent from a security and stability perspective but in the context of the world situation. Pakistan is a major front in the war on terror and any threat to the country will also threaten international security and stability.