Will develop FATA on lines of Assam: Zardari

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Asif Ali Zardari-Pakistan President
Islamabad, Jan 25: Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari said that Pakistan tribal regions would be developed on the lines of Assam and Alaska. The rise of extremism in tribal areas is a concern for Pakistan. "The tribal areas would be developed on the Assam and Alaska models with public-private partnership for industrialization," the Daily Times quoted Zardari, as saying.

He said Pakistan has asked the international community to provide help for the setting up of special zones, which would help in improving the socio-economic condition of Swat Valley, and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) residents.

"We are regularly persuading the international community to provide 350 million dollars for establishing Reconstruction Opportunities Zones in the FATA," he said.

Talks and dialogues are the only solution to the problem of the tribal region, and any military offensive would only aggravate the situation, Zardari said.

Attending a meeting of tribal elders here, Zardari said international aid to Pakistan has been delayed due to a change of regime in the United States.

He also assured tribal leaders that Pakistan would ask the Obama administration to stop drone attacks inside its territory.

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ANI

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