World Bulletin/News Desk
Donor fatigue and war weariness have taken their toll on how long the global community is willing to support Afghanistan and there are concerns about security following the withdrawal of most NATO troops in 2014 if financial backing is not secured.
"Afghanistan's security cannot only be measured by the absence of war," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told an international donors' conference in Tokyo.
"It has to be measured by whether people have jobs and economic opportunity, whether they believe their government is serving their needs, whether political reconciliation proceeds and succeeds."
The Afghan central bank has estimated that at least $6 billion a year in new investment from foreign donors will be needed to foster economic growth over the next decade.
Clinton also stressed the importance of Afghanistan - one of the most corrupt nations in the world - of taking aggressive action to fight graft and promote reforms.
President Hamid Karzai admits his government needs to do more to tackle corruption, but his critics say he is not doing enough, and some directly blame authorities for vast amounts of aid not reaching the right people.
"We have agreed that we need a different kind of long-term economic partnership, one built on Afghan progress in meeting its goals, in fighting corruption, in carrying out reform, and providing good governance," Clinton said.
U.S. officials provided no monetary figure for their expected aid, but said the administration would ask Congress to keep assistance levels stable through 2017 compared with the assistance Washington has offered over the past decade.
Japan pledged $3 billion in aid for Afghanistan through 2016. Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba said $2.2 billion of that amount would be grants for development projects in areas like investment in roads and infrastructure.
The EU has said it will continue with pledges of 1.2 billion euros a year, but warned that if progress is not made with rule of law and women's rights, this could be difficult to continue.
The pledges made in Tokyo are on top of the $4.1 billion by NATO and its partners for supporting the Afghan security forces.
Representatives from about 80 countries and international aid organisations, including the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, were gathered in Tokyo to discuss aid for Afghanistan beyond 2014.
International donors provided $35 billion in aid to Afghanistan between 2001 and 2010, but the return on that development aid has been mixed.
Per capita economic output increased five-fold over the same period, but Afghanistan remains one of the five poorest nations.
Major strides have been made in schooling children and improving access to health care, but three-quarters of the 30 million Afghans are illiterate and the average person earns only about $530 a year, according to the World Bank.
The government has identified several priority areas for economic development, including investment in agriculture and mining, which Western officials see as a possible engine for future growth. Afghanistan is believed to have up to a trillion dollars' worth of untapped mineral wealth.
Another focus has been on improvements to road and rail lines to tie the emerging Afghan economy more closely with the region. Japan's Gemba said Tokyo would invest another $1 billion on projects in countries neighbouring Afghanistan to promote those efforts.
Japan will be providing Australia with classified data, with the National Security Council in Japan releasing the information in May.
Australia's foreign minister announces grant during Pakistan visit
South Korea will pressure UNESCO about Tokyo’s move to have wartime slave labor sites officially listed by United Nations agency.
Muslims in the Uighur region of China have been ordered by authorities to sell alcohol. Those who resist will have their shops closed and have legal action taken against them.
The tanker had set sail from Karachi and three Pakistani men from the southwestern province of Baluchistan had been arrested for drug trafficking, police said.
An Indian court convicted Bollywood star Salman Khan on Wednesday of culpable homicide for the death of a homeless man in a hit-and-run, a verdict that could derail several big-ticket movie projects.
Both Philipines and Japan staged an anti-piracy drill, with the drill the first one since signing a strategic partnership pact in 2012.
The US envoy to India, Richard Verma has said there was concern that “regulatory actions that are being taken could have a chilling effect on speech and expression”.
Four men were sentenced to death and were convicted of murder, with evidence partly based on mobile phone footage of the mob attack on a woman in March.
In a rare rebuke between the two nations, Pakistan has accused India's intelligence agency RAW of whipping up terror in Pakistan
Rohima Khatun, 25, fled the jungle camp in Thailand close to where the mass migrant grave of Rohingya muslims was discovered.
Indonesia has banned its nationals from working in the Middle East after Indonesian domestic workers were executed in April after they were found guilty of murder.
A new solar park in Punjab province produces 100 MW of power, which will be increased to 1,000 MW by next year.
India and Iran agreed in 2003 to develop a port at Chabahar on the Gulf of Oman, near Iran's border with Pakistan, but the venture has made little progress because of Western sanctions on Iran.
US drone strike in eastern Nangarhar province kills at least 17 suspected Taliban insurgents.
A second migrant grave site has been found in the south of Thailand.