UNITED NATIONS - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday made a strong case for providing political and economic help to Pakistan ahead of next weeks summit-level meeting of the Friends of Democratic Pakistan (FoPD), saying the country is faced with many challenges as it fights terrorism. Responding to a question at his monthly news conference, the world body chief, who will participate in the Sept 24 meeting on the margins of the UN General Assembly, called for giving President Asif Ali Zardaris government the political and economic support it needs at this critical period. The meeting will be co-hosted by US President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and President Zardari. It will also mark the first anniversary of the launch of the initiative that the Pakistani leader took in September 2008. The secretary said that President Zardari took over in difficult circumstances - fighting terrorism and dealing with multiple social and economic crises and that he needs our support. He said that economic and political stability in Pakistan would have implications in the region. In that context, he called the summit a very important meeting. Meanwhile, invitations signed by leaders of the United States, Britain and Pakistan have been sent out to 20 heads of state/government and 5 international financial institutions for the meeting. The invitees include: Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, European Commission, European Union, United Nations, Asian Development Bank, Islamic Development and World Bank. A Pakistani official said he hopes that the summit would move forward the FoDP process and would forge a durable partnership. It would expand economic opportunities including market access, transform pledges into concrete programmes and projects in the key sectors and support Pakistan 's comprehensive national strategy for broad-based development in accordance with Pakistan 's priorities.