US to start issuing 100 visas weekly from Karachi: Holbrooke

KARACHI (updated on: August 19, 2009, 21:07 PST): The United States will start issuing 100 visas to traders weekly from Karachi next month. This announcement came from US Special Envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke, while addressing a gathering at Governor House Wednesday afternoon.

The participants of the meeting included Federal and Provincial Ministers, Governor State Bank, prominent industrialists, educationists, bankers, intellectuals and senior journalists.

Holbrooke said that he wanted to make this announcement at his press conference later, but since the Governor has made a mention about it, he is making announcement here as well.

He announced that the US will start providing services from Karachi from next month. He said Karachi is one of the largest city of the world and the US recognises its importance.

The Special US Envoy said that it was his first visit to Karachi but fifth to Pakistan in six months which is reflective of the importance the US attaches to Pakistan, especially in recent years.

On the occasion one of the participants Zubair Motiwala sought US help in the ongoing energy crisis, access to US markets, and in creation of employment opportunities which would bring a turnaround in the lives of people of Pakistan.

Holbrooke in reply said that US has made a focus on Pakistan’s energy problem and in this regard the US Secretary of State for Energy will visit Pakistan in three weeks.

He, however, pointed out that there are certain things which the US can do and certain things it can not do.

He made it clear that in US funds for anything are not given by the President but by the congress which needs to be convinced for any financial help.

The Special US Envoy said that Pakistan and US have to work together in a much open manner.

Later the Senior Minister Pir Mazharul Huq in his concluding remarks thanked Richard Holbrooke for his visit to Sindh and said that it is a province where everyone is working in close coordination with each other.

Earlier Sindh Governor Dr Ishrat-ul-Ebad Khan welcomed Richard Halbrooke and introduced the guests to him who included Federal and Provincial Ministers, Governor State Bank, Speaker and Deputy Speaker Sindh Assembly, prominent industrialists, educationists and intellectuals.

He thanked Holbrooke for sparing time for a visit to Karachi and said that Sindh is a very important province whose stability ensures the stability of Pakistan.

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