, BOAO, April 18 – Pakistan’s president appealed on Saturday for help in combating terrorism in the region, a day after international donors pledged more than five billion dollars to stabilise the troubled country.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum which focuses on the global financial crisis, President Asif Ali Zardari pointed to terrorism in Asia as another pressing issue.
"This issue is about not being able to control the terrorism that is evolving around Pakistan, Afghanistan and indeed the region," he told the more than 1,600 delegates gathered at the annual summit on the tropical Chinese island of Hainan, which aims to promote regional economic integration.
"Please help us… solve and fight this menace," he added in a speech broadcast live on China’s state television.
Zardari, whose wife, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, was killed in a December 2007 attack, said the current global financial crisis could be linked to terrorism.
"Even today’s recession I would put down to the aftermath of what happened in 9/11," he said.
US President Barack Obama has put Pakistan at the heart of the fight against terrorism and Al-Qaeda.
Zardari’s comments came a day after around 40 donor countries and groups pledged development funds to help the politically volatile and nuclear-armed country fight poverty, strengthen its institutions and reduce militancy.