London: President Asif Ali Zardari has declared Pakistan’s determination to not allow anyone to use its territory against a third nation against the backdrop of mounting international pressure on his country to dismantle terror infrastructure blamed for attacks on India.
Zardari also raised the Kashmir issue saying meaningful progress towards resolution of the “dispute” is necessary for the durable peace and stability in South Asia and wanted the revival of composite Indo-Pak dialogue.
In his wide ranging address and discourse with British intelligentsia gathered at London’s International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) on Friday, Zardari said terrorist attacks were also directed against Pakistan’s peace process with India.
Zardari, who also answered questions, said the non-state actors and supporters of dictatorship have vested interest in fanning conflict in the region.
Extremists and militants who challenge the state and our ideology wherever they may be in Pakistan will be chased and eliminated, the President said.
Reinforcing this commitment to end militancy, the President said, “Let me assure you that we have not come this far at this price, to fail.”
Zardari also rejected the blames that were being laid at the door of Pakistan and said, “We need active regional co-operation and understanding rather than resorting to blame game.”
About future of Indo-Pak dialogue, Zardari said, “Pakistan is convinced that revival of the composite dialogue process is necessary and in the mutual interest of the two countries.”
Answering a question on Kashmir issue, Zardari said, “Kashmir has been pending before the UN for the last 60 plus years. Kashmir is important to regional peace and our future generation. There has to be a peaceful solution to the issue of Kashmir.”
The government was pursuing a conscious policy of building cooperative relationships with Afghanistan and India, he said, adding, “We believe that regional dialogue and cooperation is the way forward.”
He also noted that after the Mumbai attacks, Pakistan had bilateral engagements at leadership level.
Asked why India is excluded from “Democratic Friends of Pakistan” league, Zardari said, “India is an important country with a 250 million plus affluent middleclass... We want to co-exist with India and we want to try to improve our relations. We don’t mind if world consults India too.”
He also urged the international community for its support and understanding in the country’s efforts to fight militants.
“We expect our friends and allies to make a correct assessment of the challenges we face and to help us,” he said.
Acknowledging that some support had come from the world community, Zardari said: “This support needs to be reinforced.”
Hoping that the democratic world will assist his country, he assured: “Pakistan will deliver on its part to make the world a safer and better place to live.