Pakistan: Yunus's advises Musharraf
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Pakistan, March, 10 2007 - Continuing his quest to encourage & support the importance of poverty alleviation & micro enterprise activities, Mohammad Yunus went to Pakistan this week to discuss such items with Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf. During discussions, Musharraf requested that Yunus launch a Grameen Bank in Pakistan & sought support and technical advice from Yunus for making their poverty-alleviation movement a success. Yunus said he believed the legislative framework developed in Pakistan for micro-finance credit was a pioneering step and appreciated the progress made by Pakistan in the micro-finance sector.
Both Musharraf and Yunus discussed different regional issues, including the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) movement across the region. "I am a strong supporter of the Saarc... It's my dream that Saarc will be first region in the world to send poverty into the museum," the Nobel laureate told the Pakistan president.
Speaking at a luncheon reception hosted in his honour by Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, Yunus also suggested taking the initiative to introduce Saarc passports and scholarships for the citizens of the member countries to make easy cross-border visit to increase cultural and social exchanges between peoples of the region. He proposed that initially the facility could be extended to businessmen, intellectuals and professionals, allowing them a free movement across the region to understand the problems and challenges facing them, which were common in nature. Prof Yunus also suggested the Pakistan prime minister to set up social business enterprise like GameenDanone Yogurt company to improve nutrition status of the poor.
During the meeting, the Pakistan prime minister requested Yunus to replicate his ideas and experiences in Pakistan through opening Grameen Bank. "Really, we have been proud of you as you earned the honour for the whole South Asian region as well as for the Muslim world," said Shaukat Aziz.
He said micro-finance movement in Pakistan was inspired by Prof Yunus and Grameen Bank.