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Pakistani President Vows to Fight Long War against Militants

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TEHRAN, March 23 (ICANA) – Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari Tuesday announced in the parliament that war against the militants will continue until they are defeated.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011 7:50:49 PM
Pakistani President Vows to Fight Long War against Militants

“We will fight the militants to the finish. We will not back down,” Zardari told the joint session of the parliament to mark the new parliamentary year.

The opposition parties boycotted the President’s speech saying the President has failed to deliver to the common people and that the government is involved in corruption.

Lawmakers of the main opposition Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) party of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and several other opposition groups chanted slogans against the government and then staged walkout of the house.

The President delivered some 30-minute uninterrupted speech, the annual feature to open the new parliamentary year, in which he covered internal issues and also highlighted salient features of foreign policy. He also suggested convening of all parries conference to review the country’s current situation to deal with the crises, with special focus how to fight what he called growing militancy.

“We will ensure a modern and moderate Pakistan,” President Zardari said.

“We cannot permit the use of soil for terrorist activity against any other country. We will not,” amid desk thumping by his Peoples Party members and allied groups.

“The fight against militancy may be long and bitter, but we have no other option to win against the militants, we will soon win – with the grace of Allah Almighty,” he said.

Talking about the country’s foreign policy, he said Pakistan remains committed to building a long term partnership with the U.S. based on mutual respect, mutual interest and sovereign equality.

“Our strategic cooperation with China continues to grow from strength to strength,” he said.

He added that relations with Afghanistan have undergone a sea change, adding that relations with Iran too have improved. He said full spectrum dialogue process has been resumed with India.

“We seek a just settlement of Jammu and Kashmir dispute in according with the UN resolutions, while respecting the aspirations of the people of Kashmir,” he said,

He said that Pakistan has engaged with the European Union at the summit level and two Pakistan-EU summits have been held. He said negotiations are underway with the GCC for a free trade agreement.

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