Bush non-committal to Zardari over unilateral strikes

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New York, Sept 25 : After his recent meeting with his US counterpart George Bush in New York, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari appeared satisfied that there would be no more incursions by US-led forces from across the Afghan border, reported the Daily Times.

Though, he was non-committal about the assurances given by Bush to him over the issue, the paper added.

Asked if in his meeting with President George Bush, he had been given the assurance that there will be no more physical incursions or attacks into Pakistani territory, the President replied, "the US President's statements on the subject were indicative of his 'mindset'".

"It was clear that without being specific, the Pakistani leader was satisfied that there would not be a repetition of such attacks," the paper said.

It quoted him as saying that the two sides were in "constant dialogue" and that Pakistan considered such attacks to be 'counter-productive' and not likely to win 'hearts and minds'.

He said that his government would like to settle outstanding issues with its neighbours bilaterally and by talking to them.

Regarding his meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Zardari said that it was a 'new chapter in our relations and I am the new face of democracy in Pakistan."

As for the proposal that there should be joint patrolling of the Pak-Afghan border, he said if the proposal was brought up formally, it would be considered. As for Pakistan's difficult economic situation, he said, "We are getting a sympathetic hearing."

ANI

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