Monday, July 9, 2012

Tokyo Conference pledged to provide 16 Billion Dollar Aid to Afghanistan

The one-day International Conference held in Japanese capital Tokyo to provide Afghanistan a much needed financial assistance concluded on 8 July 2012, as the international donors pledged to provide 16 billion dollar to the trouble-torn nation.  The conference which was attended by nearly 70 countries and organizations assured Afghanistan for a 16 billion dollar help over the next four years, provided Afghan government curb corruption and take measures to strengthen democracy in the country.
The US is expected to provide around 1 billion dollar every year, while Japan, Afghanistan’s second-largest donor, is set to provide a maximum of 3 billion dollar up to 2016. Germany will feed the kitty annually with 536 million dollar.
The international aid to Afghanistan came against the backdrop of global concern related to political and economic turmoil prevailing in the country over the past one decade. The country is still under the shadow of fanatic Islamic groups like Taliban, which sees western powers as the sole reason of all the problems that Afghanistan is confronting today. Taliban and terror group like Al-qaida, which draws its authority from the fundamentalist Islamic factions in the country, still poses a great threat to the future of the country. The international aid is largely aimed at bolstering the pace of development in the country by instating common citizen’s faith in democracy.
As all the US and NATO troops are scheduled to leave the country by the mid 2014, the security of the nation will completely be transferred in the hand of Afghan government, which until recently, has been quite inefficient in tackling the terror forces in the country. The pledged aid is intended to stabilise the fragile political and financial situation of the country.
Afghanistan has received nearly 60 billion dollar from diversified international bodies as civilian aid over the past one decade. In addition to the 16 billion dollar aid pledged during the Tokyo conference, NATO members in May 2012 agreed to provide 4.1 billion dollar to strengthen country’s security forces.
The Tokyo Declaration, adopted at the conclusion of the day-long conference acknowledged India's concerns on the security of Afghanistan. The declaration stated that the main threat to Afghanistan's security and stability comes from terrorism and that this threat also endangers regional and international peace and security. The declaration also endorsed key recommendations of a regional conclave hosted by India to promote direct investment in Afghanistan.Confederation of Indian Industry on 28 June 2012 in Delhi had hosted the Delhi Investors' Summit on Afghanistan.
India and Pakistan also held a bilateral dialogue on the sideline of Tokyo conference, where the India's External Affairs Minister SM Krishna and his Pakistani countyerpart Heena Rabbani Khar discussed several issues like terrorism and the release of Sarabjeet Singh, Indian citizen languishing in Pakistani prison over the past 30 years. Issue of terrorism figured out prominently in the 30-minute long discussion between the leaders, as SM Krishna put pressure on Pakistan to stop anti-Indian activities, which is being conducted from its territory .

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