Zardari says Pak doesn't want to participate in arms' race in South Asia

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Karachi, Jan. 5 (ANI): President Asif Ali Zardari has clarified that Pakistan was a peace-loving country, and had no intention of participating in an arms race in South Asia.

His remarks came while he was addressing a passing-out parade of the Pakistan Naval Academy (PNA).

"Our desire for peace must not be taken as a sign of weakness. Our forces are ready to meet all the challenges and guard [the country] against all external and internal threats," the Daily Times quoted Zardari, as saying.

He also said that the country must remain prepared to face any threat to sovereignty.

"The country is facing new challenges to its security. Extremism is a big threat to our existence. We need united national commitment to fight and defeat militancy," he said.

He added that the Pakistan Navy's participation in the Coalition Maritime Campaign (CMCP) had improved country's capability to check the smuggling of arms and drugs and human trafficking.

Zardari expressed delight at the fact that the Pakistan Naval Academy was training cadets from Kazakhistan, Maldives, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Sudan.

He said he was particularly pleased to note that women officers were also part of the passing out parade.

He said women's presence at the ceremony reflected the policy of the government to encourage women to play their role in all areas of the national progress. (ANI)

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