Ex. President Zardari urges US to witness Pakistan’s commitment to counter terrorism
WASHINGTON, (APP): Ex. President Zardari urges US to witness Pakistan’s commitment to counter terrorism
Former Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has asked those lawmakers in US Congress who doubt Pakistan's commitment to fighting terrorism to visit the country and see for themselves the country's resolve to eradicate the menace.
In a letter to the editor of the New York Times, in response to a May 12 Editorial "Time to Put the Squeeze on Pakistan" Mr. Zardari, referred to the move by some US Congressman to block the financing for F-16 aircraft to Pakistan over allegations that Pakistan was not doing enough in fighting terrorism.
"What was once a strong partnership allied against threats to the region from Russia and non-state actors is sadly frayed," Mr. Zardari, who is also the co-chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party, said while referring to the stalemate between Pakistan and the United States over F-16 deal.
"If there are factions in Congress that don't believe that we are committed to fighting terrorists, they should come to Pakistan and bear witness to our solidarity and resolve," the former Pakistani President said.
He said Pakistan continue to face threats from terrorists and the country has suffered repeated mass-casualty attacks by the Taliban and al- Qaeda, most recently in Lahore where 74 people were killed and 338 wounded.
"Despite our common security interests and a deep democratic kinship, there is ambiguity toward the bilateral relationship from officials in both sides," Mr. Zardari added.
"In the coming weeks, State Department officials will be in Pakistan for meeting with our government. I hope that they will take this opportunity to assure us that they remain committed to supporting our security needs," Mr. Zardari said.
While, there has been opposition in Congress over financing the F-16 deal, the US State Department has favored selling the aircraft to Pakistan, saying that F-16s were the right platform to support Pakistan's counter terrorism efforts.