Zardari claims that Taliban has been defeated in Swat

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Islamabad, Aug.19 (ANI): Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has claimed that the Taliban has been defeated in the Swat Valley.

In an interview with the News ahead of his meeting with US Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke, Zardari said Pakistan was a united nation and would always stand united against its enemy.

"We are one nation and would stay united at every crucial moment to defeat the enemy," Zardari said.

When asked how he viewed the meetings of Holbrooke with JUI chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and JI Secretary General Liaquat Baloch, Zardari said: "Politics is the name of dialogue and issues could be sorted out only politically."

When enquired how he would counter the opposition from some of parties like the JUI and the ANP on the issue of allowing political parties to work in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), he said all such issues would be sorted out with dialogues.

"People give up their positions, sometime, in view of national interest. So we will be able to manage this by moving from our standard positions on the subject," Zardari said.

Later, Presidential spokesperson Farhatullah Babar told media persons that Zardari, during his meeting with Holbrooke, told the US ambassador that Pakistan's industrial growth and export potential was severely hampered because of the war against the former Soviet Union as well as the rising militancy which was a result of the Cold War politics.

"If these factors had not hampered the country's progress Pakistan would not have been faced with the type of economic problems it is facing today," Babar quoted Zardari, as saying. (ANI)

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