Islamabad, Oct 19: Pakistan's top civil and military leaders have decided in a meeting chaired by President Asif Zardari to continue fighting al Qaeda and Taliban and to hold dialogue only with those ready to lay down arms. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani, NWFP Governor Owais Ghani, Interior Adviser Rehman Malik and senior defence and interior officials attended the meeting at the Presidency.
Sources privy to the meeting said Zardari was briefed on the Taliban's recent truce offers and the proceedings of the ongoing secret parliamentary session on national security. The participants agreed on making suggestions by parliamentarians' part of the anti-terrorism policy, but Zardari said the government would not tolerate attacks on security forces and challenges to its writ in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). He stressed the need for development projects in FATA. Zardari also briefed the participants on his China visit, where Chinese state media quoted him as saying he would encourage investment in the troubled regions and try to win more preferential treatment for their products in US markets.
"We are looking for a dialogue when the new US administration comes into being. And we are going to work firmly for the signing of a Free Trade Agreement for these regions," the Daily Times quoted Zardari, as saying.