Zardari urges US team to remove conditions from defence bill

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Islamabad, Nov.11 (ANI): Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has asked the United States to take out the 'stern' conditions attached in the Defence Authorisation Bill, saying such restrictions would create further problems in the joint counter-terrorism efforts.

Zardari told Jane Harman, chief of the homeland security subcommittee on intelligence and terrorism risk assessment, who is heading a US congressional delegation, that conditions stringed with the aid would only create difficulties in Islamabad's anti-terror measures.

Presidential spokesperson Farhatullah Babar said during his meeting with the US delegation, Zardari has stressed on the need for the early release of 1.6 billion dollars that Washington had pledged to provide to Islamabad for its support in the 'war on terrror'.

Zardari reiterated Pakistan's demand for drone technology, so that it could carry out attacks on extremists itself.

"The president told the delegation that Pakistan and the US needed to take a holistic view of their relations," The Dawn quoted Babar, as saying.

"Fighting militancy on a long-term basis needs concrete steps to alleviate poverty and empower people. This is the reason that the US and international support to Pakistan's economic development is critical," Zardari said. (ANI)

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