Pak not a launch pad for terror attacks: Zardari

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United Nations, Sep 26: President Asif Ali Zardari declared Pakistan has pledged its territory will not be used by extremist elements for launching terrorist attacks against neighbours and its own people.

Mr Zardari also made it clear that his government would "make sure Islamabad's friends did not violate the nation's sovereignty.'' ''Let it be clear to the terrorists lurking in their caves, plotting their next assault on humanity. If necessary, we will confront evil with force -- our police, our army and our air force,'' the Pakistani leader, who was sworn in earlier this month, told the UN General Assembly. "We will turn the power of the state against the stateless terrorists. We will turn the power of justice against the chaos of anarchists. We will turn the power of right against the darkness of evil,'' he added.

In his address on Thursday, Sep 25 to the world body, Mr Zardari spoke on ensuring better relations with his country's eastern and western neighbours.

''We will continue the composite dialogue with India so that the outstanding issues are resolved. Whether it is the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir, or cooperation on water resources, India and Pakistan must accommodate each other' s concerns and interests,'' the President said.

''We must respect and work with each other to peacefully resolve our problems and build South Asia into a common market of trade and technology,'' he added.

Expanding the scope of his call, Mr Zardari said to the 192-member world body, ''Terrorists strike all nations and continents and there must be a line on their rampage. We must draw that line in Pakistan. In our stability lies the world's security.'' The Pakistani leader invoked his slain wife Benazir Bhutto and noted 'ours has been a bloody fight.' During his address, he put on the podium his wife's picture.

He referred to last week's Marriott Hotel bombing in Islamabad and said, ''Once again Pakistan has become a victim of terrorism.'' Thousands of Pakistani soldiers and civilians have died fighting terrorists, Mr Zardari said, adding, ''The world should stand along with us as we stand for the entire civilised world on the front lines of this struggle.''

UNI

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