Pakistan has faced 101 Mumbai-like incidents: Pakistan PM
IANS||28 January 2010, 03:03pm IST
NEW DELHI: Pakistan is also a victim of terrorism with “101 Mumbai-like incidents” having taken place, Pakistan Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani has said and asked India to resume dialogue as both the countries “cannot afford war”.
“There are 101 Mumbai-like incidents in Pakistan after that. Dialogue is the only answer. We are both responsible nations. We can only move forward. We cannot afford war. The only way forward is talks,” Gilani said in an interview to a television channel broadcast on Thursday.
India had stopped all dialogue with Pakistan after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, with the Indian government alleging that the terror conspiracy was hatched on Pakistani soil.
Gilani referred to the joint statement issued after the meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Sharm-el-Sheikh in Egypt, on the sidelines of the non-aligned leaders summit in 2009.
“That was a very good meeting. We discussed all issues. And we had understanding that we both are suffering from terrorism,” Gilani said.
The Pakistani leader said that “1.25 billion (people) should not be made hostage to one incident”.
“So (if) we are hostage to this incident, then the beneficiary is the terrorist. Therefore, we should move forward.”
“Certainly we condemn terrorism and we always believe that neither Pakistani nor Indian soil (should) be used against each other. We are the victims of terrorism. You know how we are fighting the war on terrorism,” asserted Gilani.
“What we really need is capacity building,” Ambassador Khan (R) said, adding that no other nation could do a better job than Pakistan’s forces on its own soil. “We, however, need help with capacity building in the areas of infrastructure, night vision equipment, communication gear, helicopters, and aircraft.” –APP (File photo)
’2009 successful year for offensive against Taliban’
Thursday, 28 Jan, 2010||Safar 12, 1431
BEIJING: Terming 2009 a “successful year” in its offensive against the Taliban network in Pakistan, Islamabad Ambassador to Beijing Masood Khan said that beefing up military presence is just part of the “two-track” means to eradicate terrorism in central Asia.
Troops alone don’t work; what war-torn Afghanistan and Pakistan urgently need is capacity building and development, said Ambassador Khan in an interview published in China Daily on Thursday prior to the start of an international conference in the UK to discuss measures to eliminate terrorism in Central Asia.
“What we really need is capacity building,” Khan said, adding that no other nation could do a better job than Pakistan’s forces on its own soil. “We, however, need help with capacity building in the areas of infrastructure, night vision equipment, communication gear, helicopters, and aircraft.”
The international community should also invest in the “development track” in the region, Khan urged. “And should do so aggressively.”
“I would say that the allocation of resources for the economic development of these affected areas is only a small fraction of what is being spent for military means,” the country’s senior diplomat said, noting that Afghanistan and Pakistan are desperate for investment. “I hope this conference will prove to be beneficial in this regard,” he said.
Apart from the host nation, Britain, representatives from the International Security Assistance Force, Nato, UN and Afghanistan’s immediate neighbours are to attend the conference. Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi is representing Pakistan.
In the half-an-hour interview in Beijing with China Daily, Khan discussed Pakistan’s experience eight years after joining the anti-terror campaign, commented on the US strategy under US President Barack Obama, and shared his concerns about the regional situation.
“It’s a war we have to win,” Khan remarked.
Other than beefing up the military and development, he said Islamabad is “trying to reach out to all levels of the Taliban to wean them away from violence and integrate them into the political mainstream”.
Khan said that Islamabad joined the war as it was “in its national interest” since Pakistan could not stay immune to the violence in the neighbouring state.
Islamabad’s envoy to Beijing pointed out that his country’s forces have killed more than 7,000 terrorists and apprehended about 9,000, including 901 Al-Qaeda operatives with the help of US intelligence.
The killing of Baitullah Mehsud, former head of the Pakistani Taliban, in August last year, is considered a major success for Pakistan. “I think we have dismantled the network of militants. They are scattered now,” Khan said. Read more details here.….
Courtesy: Times of India, Dawn News, APP & Others.
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