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Richard G Olson called on Ishaq

29 December, 2014

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ISLAMABAD - United States ambassador to Pakistan Richard G Olson called on Federal Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs Senator Ishaq Dar at the Finance Ministry on Monday and expressed grief and offered condolences to the minister on the recent incident in Peshawar in which many precious and innocent lives were lost.

The minister said that this is one of the saddest incidents in the history of Pakistan but the government has made a firm resolve that the issue of terrorism will be dealt with utmost force upon which the whole nation and political leadership has a consensus. The US ambassador also congratulated the minister on the successful completion of 4th and 5th International Monetary Fund (IMF) review and taking the reserve to $15 billion which has availed the government the opportunity to become a member of International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and enjoy better financial packages.

Olson discussed with the minister the civilian assistance package under the Kerry Lugar Act. The ambassador said that the congress has notified a $532m assistance package for Pakistan with its break up being given for different sectors like energy, defence against terrorism, economic growth, community building, education and health. The minister remarked that the government of Pakistan should spend a large amount of this assistance for the rehabilitation of the displaced persons of North Waziristan Agency.

Olson also discussed the agenda for the expected visit of Secretary Kerry to Pakistan in January 2015. The minister discussed with the ambassador the speedy delivery of Boeing aircrafts which the PIA has to acquire to upgrade its fleet as restructuring the state asset is one of the important agenda items in the priority list of the government. The minister told the ambassador that they are preparing for giving a briefing to the donors about the rehabilitation work being carried out for restoring the life of the displaced persons of North Waziristan Agency and the flood affectees.

The minister said that the floods were unforeseen calamity that will surely have an impact on our growth projections but still we are hoping to recoup under the current circumstances. The meeting was attended by Advisor to the Finance Division Rana Assad Amin and SA to Finance Minister Shahid Mahmood Khan and other members of the US team.

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