Dutch govt to resume partial development aid to Pakistan
The decision comes after five months of suspension with the appointment of a new Pakistani government.9 April 2008
THE HAGUE - The Dutch government said on Tuesday it is partially resuming aid to Pakistan, five months after suspending it over President Pervez Musharraf's imposition of emergency rule.
Development aid minister Bert Koenders said the decision to restart parts of the aid programme was prompted by the appointment of the new government of prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani.
In a statement, Koenders called political developments in Pakistan "a good first step" toward the full restoration of the rule of law in Pakistan.
Dutch aid will be targeted at education, the environment and good governance.
The value of the projects being resumed was not immediately clear, but the government said it has programs worth EUR 40 million slated for Pakistan over the coming years as part of its efforts to promote stability in the country.
"A democratic and stable Pakistan in the long term contributes to the resolution of the conflict in Afghanistan and security in The Netherlands," said Koenders.
Suspending aid in November 2007, Koenders called Musharraf's emergency rule a "dramatic power grab that's bad for democracy, the people and the development of Pakistan".
[AP / Expatica]