ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- In return for Pakistan's support for the U.S.-led campaign against terrorism, Germany said Sunday that it was reviving its economic assistance to the Muslim country.
Most Western nations, including the United Sates, Germany and Japan, suspended economic assistance to Pakistan and India after their nuclear tests in 1998.
But on Sunday, Pakistan's Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz and German Minister for Economic cooperation and Development Heidemarie Wieczorek Zeul signed an agreement in Islamabad for reviving the suspended assistance.
Zeul told a news conference in Islamabad that her country has renewed trade and investment guarantee cover Pakistan, which was also suspended along with economic aid.
The German minister also announced a $7.7 million grant for Afghan refugees in additional to $31.9 million already pledged. More than 2.5 million Afghan refugees live in Pakistan while the United Nations says thousands more are moving toward the Pakistani border following the U.S. airstrikes.
Zeul has come to Pakistan with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who told a news conference in Islamabad that Pakistan and Germany support "a comprehensive and holistic solution" of the Afghan issue.
"Parallel to the military operation, political solutions need to be sought as well," said Schroeder. He also said that Germany was willing to provide "substantial assistance to deal with the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan."
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, who also addressed the news conference, said: "Pakistan's resolve to root out international terrorism is strong but we also believe that the military strikes should be short and targeted. The international community should focus on the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Afghanistan and not just on the military operations."
Meanwhile, Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok, who is also visiting Pakistan, stressed the need for "winding up the military operation as soon as possible."
Addressing Afghan refugees at a camp in the northwester city of Peshawar, Kok said the international community was willing to help the Afghans rebuild their country.