At least the international donors recognised the heavy price paid by Pakistan for its role as a frontline state against terrorism ever since the terrorist activities occurred in the United States of America on September 11, 2001. At the Tokyo donor conference held on April 17, under the auspicious of the newly formed, Friends of Democratic Pakistan, donors pledged US$5.28 billion assistance to Pakistan over the next two years (by 2011) to overcome its financial and economic woes. Initiated and co-chaired by Japan and the World Bank, attended by the representatives of 31 countries and 18 international organisations and agencies, who took part at the Tokyo moot deliberations to strengthen the international framework and capacity for assistance to Pakistan for its leading role and huge sufferings in War On Terror. Addressing the conference, President Asif Ali Zardari said: "Progress cannot be made without international aid." In his opening speech, Japanese Prime Minister, Taro Aso, said: "Pakistan has played a vitally important role in efforts of the international community to counter terrorism and extremism." Afghanistan's reconstruction was the main factor behind the Tokyo moot of the Friends of Democratic Pakistan. Aso told the conference that "without stability in Pakistan, there is no stability in Afghanistan either." It is believed that without financially and economically stabilising Pakistan, there seems no possibility of developing the Afghan economy. Therefore, the major objective of the conference was to stabilise Pakistan as a means to rebuild Afghanistan. The United States of America and Japan promised one billion US dollars assistance each, the European Union pledged US$640 million, while Saudi Arabia US$700 million, Iran US$330 million, UAE US$300, and Turkey US$100 million to meet Pakistan's short-term financial requirements. Pakistan's homegrown developmental strategy and poverty reduction planning were appreciated at the donors' conference. The fund will be used to fight poverty, especially under the Pakistan Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRSP), and help train people in education, to support health welfare, to build energy projects, roads, and to support social safety nets, human development, and pro-poor development expenditures. The conference also recognised the importance of accelerating investments in infrastructure, agriculture, power, and irrigation over the medium-term. The hosting of the Pakistan Development Forum (PDF) at Islamabad within a year is an extremely encouraging step being taken at the conference. Started in 2001, seven PDF annual meetings were organised at Islamabad up to 2007 that provided an opportunity to the donor community to hear the Government of Pakistan's development priorities and to learn about future strategic directions. Fully desperate for foreign assistance, Pakistani leadership praised the assistance as something "beyond their expectations." While appreciating the pledges, Foreign Minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, stated that this 'will enhance Pakistan's capacity to fight terrorism and give us the ability to strengthen civic institutions that have been weakened over the years'. Presidential spokesperson, Farhatullah Babar, opined that the conference sowed the "seeds for a Marshall Plan." In fact, these were a fairly laud statements. The reality runs counter to that claim. When 9/11 happened, Pakistan was under financial and economic sanctions levelled by most of powerful industrialised countries and donors including Japan, United States of America, and other G-8 member countries. United States has pledged US$7.5 billion or 1.5 billion per annum assistance to Pakistan over the next five years, but the bill is still hanging over in US Congress as strict conditions has to be attached to the cheque. Understanding the gravity of the situation in Pakistan and the modest amount pledge for Pakistan, US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, said: "US$5 billion was not enough to fund Pakistan's anti-terrorism campaign and alleviate its poverty, saying he had heard that as much as US$50 billion might be needed." However, Pakistan claims that the country spent over US$35 billion to combat terrorism since 9/11, the amount pledged at the Tokyo conference seems quite modest. Not only Holbrooke, but every donor realised that Pakistan's needs much more assistance than the amount pledged at the conference. Earlier, in November last, avoiding a default, International Monetary Fund (IMF) offered a US$7.6 billion bailout package to Pakistan to meet balance of payments crisis and to build sharply failing reserves. It was in 2005, three years and eight months after the 9/11, when Japan announced to erase economic sanctions against Pakistan during a visit paid by Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to Islamabad and announced a modest project assistance loan worth hardly US$300 million. United States claim that it has provided a handsome amount of military assistance to Pakistan, which, even they think, was misused and diverted to other purposes. Nevertheless, military assistance did not erase Pakistan's growing financial hardships and country complaint to big powers for their twisty role toward Pakistan in getting it develop to combat terrorism. Again, the US$5.28 billion assistance seems to be quite modest as this will be disbursed in about two years time, i.e., US$2.64 billion a year. Moreover, if the amount was estimated from the beginning of the 9/11(2001) till 2009, it is hardly US$538 million, worth Japanese loan assistance prevailing during the 1990s. Therefore, Pakistan's recognition as a frontline State against global terrorism is great but financial pledges made in at the Tokyo Conference were not less than peanuts. Historically, ideological-motivated financial and economic assistance to Pakistan, say for instance, during the 1950s and 1960s, and later in 1980s, did not produce desired outcomes and help develop the economy. The money offered to Pakistan to fight against Communism in the region, ultimately resulted in the country's internal disharmony and chaos. If the US$5.2 billion assistance was regarded as "down payment on US future" as put forward by Holbrooke, one has to re-think about the economic recovery, boost, and the developmental schemes. Let's hope that Pakistan is close to the Marshall Plan and not on the verge of the ideological confrontation. In short, the fund will be having a short-run marginal utility to provide a cushion to financial needs. The real dent could come through the building of energy corridors and transportation network linking Pakistan with Central Asia, South Asia, and western China, and by enhancing Pakistan's export capacity and increasing of foreign direct investment. The writer is a research fellow (East Asia) at the Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI)