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Pakistan PM says nation united to defend country
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21:30, December 22, 2008

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Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said Monday that the whole Pakistani nation is fully united and ready to defend the country.

Gilani's remarks came as Pakistan-India tensions were heightened as the Indian side accused Pakistan-based militant groups of involvement in last month's Mumbai terror attacks, whichkilled more than 170.

"The country is in safe hands. We have a highly professional and pro-democracy army. The army and the civil government are united and we are ready to defend the country," Gilani told reporters in southern port city of Karachi.

The tensions between the two nuclear-armed countries has put the four-year peace process on hold.

Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said Monday in New Dehli that India has kept all options open and urged Pakistan to do whatever it has committed.

Pakistan Air Force (PAF) said in a statement Monday that it hasenhanced its vigilance "in view of current environment."

Reports said the PAF fighter jets made flights in Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Lahore on Monday afternoon.

Also on Monday, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman AdmiralMike Mullen arrived in Islamabad Monday for a two-day visit.

Mullen is due to meet with Pakistani President Asif Zardari, army chief Ashfaq Parvaiz Kiyani and other military and civil officials.

Source: Xinhua



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