| GEO Pakistan|
| Runaway militants targeting cities: Gilani|
| Updated at: 1748 PST, Tuesday, July 06, 2010|
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Tuesday that Pakistan's role as a frontline state in the war against terror has had implications on every sphere of national life, with serious impact on the economy.
Talking to Ms Louise Arbour, President of International Crisis Group and other members of the Group here at the Prime Minister Secretariat, the prime minister said the armed and security forces of Pakistan have made great human sacrifices.
He pointed towards the impact of militancy on Pakistan's economy as the militants, on the run from FATA and Swat, were now targeting urban centres.
He said the foreign investment in Pakistan has declined considerably and economic activities come under pressure. Despite these serious constraints, Pakistan remains resolutely committed to take this war to its logical conclusion and root out the threat of terrorism and militancy from its soil, he added.
The prime minister dilated on his government's persistent efforts to take all the political forces along in major decisions making process to develop and strengthen democratic institutions in the country.
He apprised the International Crisis Group about the unanimous passage of 18th Amendment Package by the Parliament which had not only restored the 1973 Constitution to its original form but also strengthened foundation of democracy in the country.
The prime minister said all major institutions of the country need to work in cohesion and within the laid down parameters of their jurisdiction to ensure that no harm could come to democracy in Pakistan in the future.
He said that government of Pakistan had launched reform packages for improving governance and economy. The rights to Gilgit and Baltistan and through initiatives like "Aghaz-e-Huqooq-e-Balochistan" and FATA Reforms has helped address the grievances of smaller provinces and far flung areas.
He, however, regretted that international community and major friendly countries were found wanting in their committed assistance at Tokyo to help Pakistan address the problems of poverty, illiteracy and un-employment as well as reconstruction of schools, hospitals and infrastructure in the militancy effected areas.
The government, he said, was forced to divert its meager resources meant for further development in the country to rehabilitation and reconstruction of infrastructure in the affected areas.
Ms Louise Arbour lauded the prime minister and his government's reform agenda. She appreciated the commitment of the government and people of Pakistan as well as huge sacrifices of the security forces in the war against terror.
She expressed the hope that the government of Pakistan, despite the prevalent situation in FATA, will be able to fully implement the FATA reforms introduced in August last year.
Ms Arbour said international Crisis Group, through its reports and analysis of the situation in Pakistan, will continue to mobilize international opinion and support to help Pakistan overcome its present difficulties.
Mark Schneider, Vice President, Ms Samina Ahmad, Country Representative of International Crisis Group and other senior officers were also present in the meeting.