Islamabad: Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has said the crackdown on the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) following the Mumbai attacks was in the national interest and the authorities would take action against any terror suspects according to the country’s laws.
During meetings with partners in the ruling coalition, led by his Pakistan People’s Party, Zardari on Tuesday said Pakistan wants peace but its desire should not be taken as weakness.
“The government is resolved not to compromise on national integrity and sovereignty,” he said. His remarks are in contrast with recent statements of other Pakistani leaders who have said that the action against JuD was being taken following UN Security Council branding it as a terrorist outfit.
Zardari met separately with delegations of the Awami National Party (ANP), Muttahida Qaumi Movement and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam.
The Jamiat has been very critical of the government’s decision to crackdown on JuD and its chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman expressed his party’s strong reservations over the clampdown “without any evidence”, media reports said.
Rehman also said the government should use the path of reconciliation to cope with extremism and terrorism.
Significantly, ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan, who has good links with India’s Congress party, offered to mediate between the two countries to ease the tensions that had arisen in the wake of the Mumbai incident, sources said.
There was consensus among the coalition partners to resolve the tensions with India through political and diplomatic channels, sources were quoted as saying by The News daily.