US not behind Tahirul Qadri, says Richard Hoagland

ISLAMABAD: The United States Deputy Chief of Mission, Ambassador Richard Hoagland on Saturday said the United States wants stability in Pakistan.

Talking to media on Saturday after attending a conference, Richard Hoagland said his country does not support any political party or individual, including Tahir-ul-Qadri.

He said that any decision regarding military operation in North Waziristan will be taken by Pakistan itself.

Richard Hoagland said the United States is not satisfied with the mechanism of Coalition Support Fund and will improve the mechanism in future.

He further said that the United States supports democracy and free polls in the world.

Earlier, Ambassador Hoagland while delivering the keynote address at the International Business Plan Competition finals, organized by The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), reaffirmed the US government’s commitment to foster entrepreneurship and supporting individual entrepreneurs throughout Pakistan.

“Entrepreneurship is vital to Pakistan’s future, and we are here to support you,” he said.

During his address, Ambassador Hoagland highlighted a series of initiatives promoted by the US government to promote entrepreneurship and generate economic growth in Pakistan.

The Embassy recently unveiled an entrepreneurship programme, called Khushhali Ka Safar (A Journey to Prosperity) which provides support to innovative Pakistani entrepreneurs by connecting them with American investors, particularly from the Pakistani Diaspora in the United States.

“Although the promotion of entrepreneurship is not traditional diplomacy, it is an increasingly important plank of U.S. foreign policy across the world, and we strongly believe that it can make a difference in people’s lives,” said Ambassador Hoagland.

The Ambassador, describing other U.S. government programmes that support entrepreneurs, including efforts to form partnerships among American and Pakistani universities so that Pakistani start ups can access mentors and obtain practical advice from seasoned industry leaders in the U.S.

Another U.S. programme, the Pakistan Firms Project, helps to increase the profitability and incomes of small and medium-sized enterprises in vulnerable areas, by identifying and removing constraints to private-sector job growth in key areas such as agriculture, livestock, minerals, and tourism.

In addition, the US has also recently launched the multi-year Pakistan Private Investment Initiative.

Drawing on public-private partnerships, this initiative will spur job growth and economic development by expanding access to capital for Pakistan’s small- to medium-sized companies.

More than 100 corporate and private sponsors supported TiE’s competition, during which graduate-level university students had the opportunity to fine-tune their business plans and compete for funding.

Successful entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and other investors from around the country volunteered their time to judge the competition, with the majority of the more than 250 judges coming from the investment sector.

Source: APP