The Situation in Pakistan

Richard Holbrooke
Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan 
Tokyo, Japan
April 19, 2009

Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Holbrooke: Clearly a country of 175 million people, over half of whom live below the poverty line of two U.S. dollars a day, a country where electricity is in short supply even in its great cities like Karachi, which I would like to point out is the world's largest Muslim city, 17 million people with only a few hours electricity a day. The international economic problems have hurt Pakistan. We should not, we should after congratulating ourselves on yesterday, we should be very mindful of the fact that the problem is far from over but in actual number I will leave that to bankers and economists. I have heard numbers as high as 50 billion U.S. dollars but it's not for me to say.

Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Holbrooke: The actual agreement has been variously interpreted, you're absolutely correct, and you're correct in saying that the West has been negative on it, and I have shared that scepticism, to be quite frank. The (Pakistani) government has explained their point of view and all I can say is that it will depend on what happens next.  It's no secret that perhaps the international community had its favorites in previous elections, but we are neither supporting nor opposing any candidate this time out, and that includes the President of Afghanistan, if he chooses to run for re-election, as seems very probable."