ISLAMABAD - Both the US and Britain on Saturday denied supporting Dr Tahirul Qadri or any other political party in Pakistan.
There had been reports in the media quoting political leaders that Qadri had come to Pakistan with the assistance of foreign powers in order to delay the elections. But Hoagland said the US does not help political parties or individuals but support free and fair elections world over. The US was an advocate of democracy and transparent election everywhere, he added.
The British High Commisioner also said in a statement that Britain had nothing doing with the TMQ chief or his political agenda. He said London, as a matter of policy, does not interfere in internal affairs of Pakistan or any other country.
To a question, Ambassador Hoagland said it is for the government of Pakistan to decide about operation in North Waziristan. He said the US was against terrorism and would continue efforts to eliminate the menace.
To another question, he said Pakistan and US were not satisfied with the existing arrangement for the release of Coalition Support Fund (CSF). He said it is yet to be decided how to release the CSF to Pakistan as the two countries would decide about the new arrangement. Earlier Hoagland reaffirmed the US commitment to fostering entrepreneurship and supporting individual entrepreneurs throughout Pakistan. "Entrepreneurship is vital to Pakistan's future, and we are here to support you," said the ambassador while delivering the keynote address at the International Business Plan Competition finals.
During his address, he highlighted a series of initiatives promoted by the US government to promote entrepreneurship and generate economic growth in Pakistan. “Although the promotion of entrepreneurship is not traditional diplomacy, it is an increasingly important plank of US foreign policy across the world, and we strongly believe that it can make a difference in people's lives," said Ambassador Hoagland.
The ambassador went on to describe other US government programmes that support entrepreneurs, including efforts to form partnerships among American and Pakistani universities so that Pakistani startups can access mentors and obtain practical advice from seasoned industry leaders in the US.
The US 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 US.
Another US 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.