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Pakistan welcomes Indonesian president

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June 17, 2000 


ISLAMABAD, (AP) - Anxious for a share of Southeast Asian markets, an economically troubled Pakistan on Friday welcomed Indonesia's President Abdurrahman Wahid.


With nuclear development and military rule troubling relations between Pakistan, the United States and several other western nations, Pakistan is looking elsewhere to shore up an ailing economy. A key place is Southeast Asia.


So anxious is Pakistan to woo Southeast Asian investors that the army ruler Gen. Pervez Musharraf visited Jakarta in March to sell his country as investment friendly.


In Pakistan for two days Wahid will hold meetings with Musharraf as well as Pakistan's president Rafiq Tarar.


Welcomed to Pakistan with a 21-gun salute, Wahid's cavalcade travelled the tree-lined boulevards of the federal capital to the grand white marble presidential palace where he was greeted by Tarar.


Wahid arrives in Pakistan on the final leg of a two-week international tour that has taken him to the United States and to France, where on Wednesday he received an honorary doctoral degree from the Sorbonne university.


Wahid's foreign trip has been criticized in Indonesia, troubled by separatist violence and anti-government riots.


Like elsewhere Wahid is expected to ask Pakistan not to give recognition to separatist claims in secessionist troubled Aceh and West Papua.


On Wednesday Wahid received Indonesia's "Suharto Award," an annual prize bestowed in jest by students to the political elite for poor performance.


The award determined by a vote of 650 students at the prestigious University of Indonesia, is named after the nation's toppled dictator.


The students accuse Wahid of dragging his feet on corruption, including failing to prosecute Suharto for allegedly embezzling millions of dollars of state funds during his 32 years in power.



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