Saturday, May 23, 2009

Govt to hunt Taliban everywhere: Zardari


* President says rehabilitation of IDPs a new challenge * Says war on terror a fight for Pakistan’s survival * US must understand that drone strikes conducted by Pakistan won’t stir any reaction * Nuclear arms are in safe hands * ‘Friends of Pakistan’ conference successful LAHORE: President Asif Ali Zardari has said the government will hunt down the Taliban everywhere in the country, a private TV channel reported on Friday.Zardari told TV anchors at the Presidency in Islamabad that he had never said the government would conduct a military operation in Waziristan after Swat. “I had said the government would eliminate militancy wherever it felt the need to do so.” He said the operation against extremists would continue for the restoration of peace in the country. Zardari said the government was now facing a new challenge in the wake of the massive displacement of people from troubled areas, and the government would try its best to rehabilitate the internally displaced persons (IDPs). He said he was fully aware of the problems being faced by the IDPs and was closely monitoring the situation. Zardari said the US would not repeat the ‘mistake’ of leaving Pakistan alone. He said the war against terrorism was a fight for Pakistan’s survival. Pakistan’s nukes: About Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, the president said the weapons were in safe hands. He said the transfer of civilian atomic technology from France would help Pakistan in the energy sector. Drone strikes: The president said the Americans must understand that there would be no protest if drone strikes in the Tribal Areas were conducted by Pakistan itself, and called for Pakistan to be given drone technology. About the latest meeting of the ‘Friends of Pakistan’ forum, the president said he was satisfied with the conference. Replying to a question about a memorandum of understanding between Pakistan and Afghanistan on transit trade, Zardari said it was a bilateral agreement that would not facilitate India. “India has nothing to do with this agreement,” he said. However, he was confident that relations with India would improve after the formation of new government there. daily times monitor/agencies

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