ISLAMABAD - Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Joost Reintjes, hosted a reception to introduce the visiting Netherlands Minister for Development Cooperation, Bert Koenders, at the newly built embassy in the Diplomatic Enclave. We have heard to kill two birds with one stone but the Dutch Ambassador turned out to be an exception since he achieved four objectives by hosing one reception. In the first part of the reception Bert Koenders, the visiting Minister, was introduced to various friends of Netherlands and in the second part the Minister inaugurated the newly built temporary embassy in the Diplomatic Enclave and he also addressed the gathering. The other two events were held inside the premises in which he held a press conference and also signed an agreement with a local NGO about Bio Gas project. Ambassadors, representatives of NGOs, UN Agencies and civil society were also present at the reception. The Minister was on a two-day visit to Pakistan. During his stay he discussed with President Zardari the current political and security situation in the country and ways in which the Netherlands can help to improve social and economic development and support for democracy in Pakistan. Although the Minister understands the challenges for government and army in times of conflict, he underlined the importance of respect for human rights and the enlargement of humanitarian space. He also raised the need for increased transparency and the fight against corruption. Bert Koenders also informed his meeting with Chief Justice, Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry and when asked about the contents of his meeting with Chief Justice, he described this meeting a very pleasant and cooperation for rule of law and justice in the country. During his visit the Minister also met with parliamentarians. During a meeting with representatives of the business community he shared his views about private-public partnerships, the importance of trade and access to European markets. He also emphasised the importance of the role of the private sector in the development of Pakistan. More co-operations between Dutch and Pakistani companies should be promoted. The Minister mentioned in this context the creation of 'Orange Carpet Service which grants frequent business travellers special treatment when applying for business visa at the Dutch embassy. The Ministers delegation flew to Mingora (Swat Valley) where the provincial authorities, UN and NGOs apprised him of the general situation in Swat and the reconstruction efforts as part of the Malakand Strategy. A trip to Jaloozai IDP Camp was also part of the program. Here the Minister was briefed by the Pakistani authorities (civil and military) about the situation of IDPs. He also met camp management and UN representatives. The Netherlands government has made a contribution of 1 million EUROS to the ICRC. The Minister also signed a contribution agreement of Rs356 million with the Rural Support Programme Network (RSPN) represented by Mr. Shoaib Sultan Khan, Chairman of the Board. The aim of the programme is to support the implementation of the Pakistan Domestic Biogas Programme. The programme is unique and is designed to lay the foundation for a commercially viable biogas sector in Pakistan, which can relieve the energy shortfall for 30-40 million people in the rural zones of Pakistan. The Dutch Minister said that Netherlands had engaged in bilateral development cooperation with Pakistan since 1957.The focus and intensity of Netherlandss aid programme has varied over the years, partly due to lessons learned and insights gained, but also due to shifts in political situation in Pakistan and Dutch policy priorities. He further said that Netherlands development efforts currently centre on three sectors: education, environment/water management and good governance/human rights. Bert Koenders said during the signing ceremony of biogas project that the said agreement just before the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference (7 - 18 December) underscores both Pakistans and the Netherlands efforts to contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions. He further elaborated that the promotion of the large-scale use of biogas in rural areas is an excellent example of an environmental programme that contributes to the multiple objectives of the Netherlands Development Cooperation. He further elaborated that a successful development of a commercially viable biogas sector in Pakistan with an unused potential of 5 million biogas installations will not only substantially reduce CO2 emissions, but it will in the long-run also create thousands and thousands of jobs in rural areas, save thousands of hectares of forest, increase agricultural production by using biogas slurry as an excellent fertilizer and it will also significantly reduce the workload of women and improve the health of women and children by giving them access to biogas for cooking, instead of firewood or cow dung.